About the Book:
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press (October 8, 2013)
Series: Stand alone
Source: Book Nerd Tours
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Barry Wolverton’s masterful middle-grade debut, Neversink, is an epic
tale of some very un-epic birds, a fast-paced and funny story of
survival, friendship, and fish, in the vein of Watership Down and Kathi
Appelt’s The Underneath.
Along the Arctic Circle lies a small island called Neversink, home to
a colony of odd-looking seabirds called auks, including one Lockley J.
Puffin. With their oceanfront views and plentiful supply of fish, the
auks have few concerns—few, save for Lockley’s two best friends, Egbert
and Ruby, a know-it-all walrus and a sharp-tongued hummingbird.
But all of this is about to change. Rozbell, the newly crowned king
of the Owl Parliament, has long had his scheming eyes on the small
colony to the north. Now Neversink’s independence hangs in the balance.
An insurgence of owls will inevitably destroy life as the auks know
it—unless Lockley can do something about it.
About the Author:
I have been writing for children for 20 years, helping create
educational books, documentaries, and online content for Discovery
Networks, National Geographic, the Library of Congress, Scholastic, and
My debut novel, NEVERSINK, is now available in paperback. The first book in THE VANISHING ISLAND trilogy releases in early 2015.
My Thoughts on Neversink:
This book is precisely the reason I love middle grade literature. It’s
like reading Animal Farm for kids. It is like everything and nothing
I’ve read before. I loved it. Barry Wolverton built a beautiful, complex
society of animals with history and heart.
On the surface it seems like a simple story about a sadistic owl and the
brave puffin that defies him, but there is so much more to it. It is a
story of hardship, oppression, freedom, and courage. It is about
standing up for what you know is right and sacrificing yourself for the
good of society. It is about leadership and friendship, fear and
loyalty. It makes the reader look inward and ask how much they would be
willing to sacrifice to preserve their freedom and independence. Would
you be willing to die for the right to live without oppression, or would
you stand passively aside while your freedoms are stripped away?
The imagery is stunning. The author did a fantastic job at world
building. I fell in love with the island of Neversink and the animals
that call it home. Highly recommended for kids ages 8 and up.
Content: Light danger/suspense. Some animals die, but there are no gory details. I consider it clean.
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