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The Resource Scar Island, Dan Gemeinhart

Scar Island, Dan Gemeinhart

Label
Scar Island
Title
Scar Island
Statement of responsibility
Dan Gemeinhart
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Twelve-year-old Jonathan Grisby has been sent to the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys, a former lunatic asylum which is currently run by a sadist who enjoys punishing the boys and setting them against each other; but when a lightning strike kills all the adults the boys find themselves suddenly free--and trapped on Scar Island which seems to be sinking into the ocean
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Grades 4-6 Holes meets Lord of the Flies in this fast-paced novel set in a reform school on a creepy island. Jonathan Grisby has been sentenced to 10 weeks at Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. Jonathan, haunted by the tragic circumstances that condemned him to the school, is prepared to serve his time. When a freak accident eliminates (deservedly) the entire staff of adults, the boys turn their prison into a playhouse, though it soon becomes evident that one sort of authoritarian rule has been exchanged for another. The book incorporates the atmospheric hallmarks of an island-bound suspense tale: a crumbling fortress, dank passages, giant rats, and a dark and stormy night. Jonathan is a brave young man capable of leading the boys through this extraordinary situation—if only he was not so incapacitated by his grief and guilt. Told with pathos and compassion, this rises above the label of survival story and examines the way truth and redemption are interconnected in one troubled boy’s life. -- Dean, Kara (Reviewed 11/1/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 5, p62)
  • Gr 5–8—Gemeinhart gives readers a poignant, action-packed story with references to classics Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies. Jonathan Grisby is the newest kid to be sent to the remote island fortress Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. Run by the Admiral and a small group of surly men, Slabhenge reforms boys through hard work, squalid living conditions, and the constant threat of bodily punishment via a torture device known as the Sinner's Sorrow. When a freak lightning strike kills all adults on the island just a day after Jonathan arrives, he convinces the other boys to stay, free from adult interference. They call themselves the Scars, unable to be picked off and thrown away like the scabs of society. When tough guy Sebastian declares himself the leader and becomes a punitive dictator, Jonathan and the other boys who oppose Sebastian find themselves in danger. A storm threatens to sink the island, and Jonathan must confront his troubled past and become the leader the Scars need to survive. Gemeinhart creates a compulsively readable story with enough teasers to keep the mystery alive until the very end. The plot is not too dark and is suitable for middle graders as well as for young teens. The bond between Jonathan and Colin, another boy on the island, is the shining star of the novel, showcasing empathy and demonstrating Gemeinhart's emotional range. This is an unflinching salute to friendship and redemption. VERDICT A heartfelt tale, recommended for most middle grade collections.—Jessica Holland, University of Kentucky, Lexington --Jessica Holland (Reviewed 11/01/2016) (School Library Journal, vol 62, issue 11, p87)
  • The opening chapters of Gemeinhart’s (Some Kind of Courage) fast-paced novel, set in a boys’ reformatory school on a remote island, immediately bring to mind the sadistic adults and helpless boys of Louis Sachar’s Holes, but the situation soon changes to a Lord of the Flies scenario. There are 16 “troubled boys” at Slabhenge, a “hulking, jagged building of gray stone” crumbling into the sea, sent there for a variety of crimes, but 12-year-old Jonathan Grisby believes himself to be the worst; exactly what he has done comes out in bits and pieces until the complete truth is revealed in the book’s suspenseful climax. The creepy setting is almost over-the-top, complete with an ancient librarian with a giant pet rat, who gives Jonathan—appropriately enough—a copy of Robinson Crusoe to read to the others. While only a few of the boys are fleshed out enough to be fully dimensional, the group dynamics of leadership and peer pressure are well depicted and will inspire thoughtful discussion. Ages 8–12. Agent: Pam Howell, D4EO Literary. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed 10/17/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 42, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Lord of the Flies set on Alcatraz, with the Gothic sensibility of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Twelve-year-old Jonathan Grisby has been sentenced to 10 weeks at Slabhenge Reformatory for Troubled Boys, an enormous, decaying fortresslike island prison off an unknown coast, formerly an insane asylum, for a crime that has him staggering under his own guilt. At Slabhenge, rats run wild, a monster lurks behind a locked door, and 15 boys ages 10 through 14 cower in damp cells under the sadistic control of the head. That is, until Jonathan's first morning there, when a bolt of lightning kills every grown-up in the place without harming a single boy. At the urging of Sebastian, an older boy with dark urges toward control, and Jonathan, who cannot bear the thought of returning home, the multiracial inmates decide to stay awhile and enjoy a bit of freedom. They stick the dead bodies in the walk-in freezer, feast on the stores of food long denied them, and gradually fall under Sebastian's despotic rule. Before Sebastian can gain complete control or anything truly ugly can happen, a wild storm starts to break Scar Island apart. In finding the courage to rescue his companions, Jonathan finds the strength to face his past. It's grotesque, compelling, over-the-top, yet fully realized, and nothing like Gemeinhart's previous work. Children who respond to it well will read it over and over again. (Fiction. 8-12)(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2016)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10549140
Cataloging source
NJQ/DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gemeinhart, Dan
Dewey number
  • 813.6
  • Fic
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • 610L
  • Decoding demand: 92 (very high)
  • Semantic demand: 100 (very high)
  • Syntactic demand: 84 (very high)
  • Structure demand: 86 (very high)
Intended audience source
  • Lexile
  • Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 5
  • 8
Reading level
4.1
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Reformatories
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Guilt in children
  • Interpersonal relations in children
  • Bullying
  • Survival
  • Reformatories
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Guilt
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Bullying
  • Survival
  • Bullying
  • Guilt in children
  • Interpersonal relations in children
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Reformatories
  • Survival
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
Scar Island, Dan Gemeinhart
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1693029
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9781338053845
Lccn
2016037795
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781338053845
  • (OCoLC)950745658
Label
Scar Island, Dan Gemeinhart
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1693029
Extent
1 volume
Isbn
9781338053845
Lccn
2016037795
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781338053845
  • (OCoLC)950745658

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Cepeda BranchBorrow it
      651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2590471 -97.7088905
    • Ruiz BranchBorrow it
      1600 Grove Blvd., Austin, TX, 78741, US
      30.2298616 -97.7070109
    • Spicewood Springs BranchBorrow it
      8637 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin, TX, 78759, US
      30.4337083 -97.7730809
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