Sarah's Stars

Michael Morpurgo. Kensuke's Kingdom
Mammoth  $8.50  ISBN 0-7479-3639-9  151 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

The lights of the Peggy Sue went away into the dark of the night, leaving me alone in the ocean, alone with the certainty that they were already too far away, that my cries for help could not possibly be heard. I thought then of the sharks cruising the black water beneath me-scenting me, already searching me out, homing in on me- and I knew there could be no hope. I would be eaten alive. Either that or I would drown slowly. Nothing could save me. I trod water, frantically searching the impenetrable darkness about me for something, anything to swim towards. There was nothing.

Michael is an eleven-year-old boy who takes the trip of a lifetime. Michael, his mother, his father and their sheep dog, Stella Artois, take a round-the-world sailing trip on their little yacht, Peggy Sue. The trip is exciting and Michael is thrilled. That is, he is until the storm. Suddenly alone and helpless Michael struggles against the power of the raging sea. At last washed ashore on a deserted island, he realizes the impossible truth … he is not alone.

Kensuke's Kingdom is a children's version of Robinson Crusoe, with a twist. Michael Morpurgo does an excellent job of bringing this story to life. Although the tale has been told many a time, he manages to bring it new life. Kensuke’s Kingdom is written well and Morpurgo has managed to capture the thoughts and writing style of an eleven-year-old boy and transfer them onto paper. He has done a wonderful job even though the story is initially rather dry to read. Children from ages 7-10 should like Kensuke's Kingdom.

I would give Kensuke’s Kingdom three out five stars.

Winner of the 2000 Children's Book Award


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