Daybreak on Raven Island. Fleur T. Bradley. 2022. [January] 256 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Raven Island was a forgotten place. Sure, you could see the massive rock from the Pacific coast. On a clearer day, you may get a glimpse of the prison, or the empty dock that used to welcome boats and ferries. You could even see the lighthouse, once proud and bright but now extinguished. Forgotten. The ravens were perfectly fine with this situation.
Premise/plot: Seventh grade field trip gone horribly wrong--this is the premise of Fleur T. Bradley's Daybreak on Raven Island. This action thriller OR mystery/suspense novel--for middle graders--is narrated by three seventh graders: Tori, Marvin, and Noah. These three were not friends before the field trip, but the good old "buddy system" assignments has brought them together (ultimately to be terrified). So the seventh grade class is visiting an old (long, abandoned) prison thought to be haunted. This will be the first time any outsider has visited the island in decades. But on this special occasion, a seventh grade class and a film crew (for a ghost-hunting show) are on the island. Some hoping to avoid ghosts; some hoping to see ghosts. For three students (and the film crew) the adventure awaits at night...
Tori, Marvin, and Noah miss the ferry back home and have to remain on the island overnight....where danger awaits.
My thoughts: This isn't my typical kind of read, but, I do occasionally push myself to read outside my normal comfort zone. This one offers mystery, suspense, action, adventure...and plenty of secrets. I do think this one has plenty of appeal to the thrill-seeking kid. It offers a bit of spookiness with just the tiniest dose of didactic "nutrition." I am not saying that to be mean, I'm not. A book about a prison is certainly an opportunity to talk about the justice system--past and present.
Without a doubt this one is premise driven and not character driven. If the premise sounds good to you, likely you'll enjoy it.
© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews