Official Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

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Sandi
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Re: Official Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

Post by Sandi » 01 Feb 2018, 18:17

Island Games-by Caleb J. Boyer

Early in the first chapter, I decided that this book had to have been written by an eleven or twelve year old boy. After finishing about a quarter of the book, I decided to look up the author as I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of an older author. I was relieved to discover that Caleb was indeed 12 years old when he wrote this book!

Island Games: The Mystery of the Four Quadrants would make a great graphic novel. There is enough interesting action to attract the most reluctant readers. Knowing that the author was twelve when he wrote the book would also be a draw. As a librarian, I would use this book as a great example of the importance of reading, writing, art and what you can accomplish even when you are a kid.

I like the fact the grammar was left intact as Caleb wrote it. Kids, especially boys really talk the way Matthew and Ryan do in the book. Most would not notice the problems that would bother adults.

Island Games is a didactic adventure story about teamwork, cooperation, responsibility, and personal growth. The story ends suddenly without resolution, leaving the reader wondering what happens next. Kids with Internet access can get a free download of the lab adventure that neither boy remembers.
However, there is no conclusion from this adventure either! I think anyone reading this book will be anxious for a sequel to learn if the boys ever make it home.

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RebeccasReading
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Post by RebeccasReading » 03 Feb 2018, 12:29

Miriam Molina wrote:
05 Jan 2018, 00:54
A 12-year-old boy wrote this 4-star book without ANY grammatical errors. Shame on me! I can't even write a 500-word review flawlessly!

I am impressed with this boy and this book. I wonder how old Caleb is now. We may be looking at the next James Patterson.
I was thinking the same thing. What a talented young man!

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Post by mayabir » 05 Feb 2018, 15:06

At first I kept wondering about the simplistic nature of the book, the language used etc, but after noting tha age of the author, am super impressed.
This storyline is so intriguing for a boy that age. It is so fascinating and one gets that urge to want to know more about the next chapter.Great piece!

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Post by briellejee » 11 Feb 2018, 07:55

About to read this book and I was looking for a review of what am i getting myself into before reading it. This review got me excited. Thanks!

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Feb 2018, 12:10

Great review! I liked that you made some perceptive observations even though they didn't hamper your enjoyment of the story. It's impressive that a 12-year-old wrote this book and that there were no errors. Whether the lack of errors is due to his own proofreading or other people editing his work, it's still a rare feat in indie books. There are so many indie books that contain errors. Let this book be a lesson on this point.
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Post by EWatson02 » 12 Feb 2018, 20:05

Sandi wrote:
01 Feb 2018, 18:17
Island Games-by Caleb J. Boyer

Early in the first chapter, I decided that this book had to have been written by an eleven or twelve year old boy. After finishing about a quarter of the book, I decided to look up the author as I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of an older author. I was relieved to discover that Caleb was indeed 12 years old when he wrote this book!
Oh thank god it's not just me. I just did a volunteer review for this book and for the first few chapters my critique notes were brutal. How on earth could an adult with any sort of professional writing experience do it like this? The further I got, though, the more I suspected that I was dealing with an actual kid, so I did some Googling and lo and behold, I was right! Once I got that out of the way, I found it much easier to read through the book and to sit back, relax, and enjoy it.

So my review focused more on encouraging the writer's love of the craft itself. I figure most of the more specific issues I had with the book would probably resolve themselves in time as the author does more writing and gains more experience. I think it would be wonderful for him to find formal education in creative writing, as that would give him a great deal of professional training and more experience under his belt. I expect great things!

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Post by cristinaro » 17 Feb 2018, 11:18

The book reminded me both of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and William Golding's Lord of the Flies in terms of surviving on an island cliche, yet the fact that it was written by a 12-year-old boy makes me wonder how such an adventure is portrayed through the eyes of the potential hero himself. Thank you for a very good review!
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 17 Feb 2018, 22:51

I gave this book 4 stars because it is a great fit to the intended audience. Being himself a tween, Caleb was in touch with the reality of kids of the present generation. The island game mirrors a computer game where the rewards are received when the foes are slain or the obstacles cleared. This boy is special.

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Post by DathanReeves » 22 Feb 2018, 23:08

I've also reviewed this book. I enjoyed the book more after I read the allegory of the island, but before that I was frustrated with it, though not for the ending.

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Post by Essentially_Literate » 25 Feb 2018, 23:22

I can't believe he wrote the book and had it published at the age of twelve! As a part time teacher, I've seen some kids writing short stories here and there but nothing as elaborate as this sounds! Really great review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 26 Feb 2018, 10:14

I agree Essentially_Literate. He really did very well for himself. He's going to go far, that's for sure!
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Post by JessNWheeler » 08 Mar 2018, 21:18

I’ve considered reading this book. Two shipwrecked adolescents sounds like an interesting plot, especially when the fantasy aspect is added. Maybe I’ll read it with my kids. Great review!
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Post by Jax14 » 21 Mar 2018, 07:38

Overall I enjoyed the book too. It is written with a youthful flair and you can tell the author is rather young. Even though reminiscent of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner, I liked the underlying "moral" of togetherness in it. I agree that the cliffhanger could be forgiven because of the lead into the extra section as well as the online link to further info. A very promising start for such a young author!

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Post by P0tt3ry » 23 Mar 2018, 12:18

It really was an fresh imaginative story with a well-laid out plot--pretty amazing for a 12 year old. I liked the rooster as a continuing companion, even though the boys never saw him. The ending was a little unsatisfactory but it does lay the groundwork for the next book. Perhaps because I read the e-version, there were grammatical errors (including spelling) but that didn't stop me from enjoying the story. Looking forward to the next installment in the series. Thank you for the review.

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Post by mayabir » 29 Mar 2018, 10:33

briellejee wrote:
11 Feb 2018, 07:55
About to read this book and I was looking for a review of what am i getting myself into before reading it. This review got me excited. Thanks!
Thanks too

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