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Reviewed by Ronél Steyn for Readers' Favorite
Stranded on Castaway Island by Amy Laundrie brings us the story of 14-year-old Annie Bardo, who recently lost her mother in a car accident. Together with her father and her three brothers, they are still reeling from the sudden loss. To make it even harder, her best friend Mirra has been ignoring her for the past six months. When Mirra asks Annie to go with her on the boat for a picnic on a nearby island, she has no idea that they will never get there. Bad weather hits and causes the boat to sink, and the two girls end up on an island only inhabited by wild horses. They then discover that they are not the only ones on the island.
Written in the first-person narrative and from the viewpoint of Annie Bardo, the reader has the opportunity to get to know the main character intimately. Her inner thoughts, fears, and desires are revealed. From the very first page, the author has the fantastic ability to pull the reader into the story. From the motion of the water during the storm, I was there with the girls, feeling the splashes of waves over my face. I felt the sand under my feet, in my hair, and in my clothes. I felt their thirst and hunger. With extensive research as well as personal experience, Amy Laundrie brought life to relatable characters in Stranded on Castaway Island. I would happily recommend this book to young adults and adults alike. It is a story of hope and survival.