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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Outlaw Island is a work of fiction in the adventure, thriller and historical sub-genres, and was penned by author D. N. Bedeker. Written for young adult audiences, there are no scenes of a sexual nature, but the book does feature moderate use of explicit language and some violent moments which are pertinent to the plot. Set in 1867, just two years after the end of the very bloody American Civil War, we find ourselves in the company of Ben Tanner and his friends Eli and Libby. When horses are stolen from Ben’s family stables, so begins an adventure to find them that leads the young boy and his friends right into the hands of a cutthroat outlaw who will do anything to keep the prize stallion for himself.
Author D. N. Bedeker has crafted a fascinating and immersive historical tale for young adult readers from all sections of the reading age group. Ben Tanner is only twelve, and his naivety shows through to make him a plucky and relatable protagonist that I, as an adult reader, worried about on the edge of my seat for the whole tale. Shocking in parts, the work is realistic of the grittier, nastier side of outlaws and history, but it is correctly moderated so as not to upset sensitive readers. This sense of balance is also worked into the plot, which goes through different events at a great, exciting pace, and saves its best for last. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Outlaw Island as a thrilling adventure for young people (and the young at heart) to read.