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Marsh Island

by Sonya Spreen Bates
illustrated by Kasia Charko

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camping & outdoor activities, siblings
list price: $5.99
also available: Paperback
published: 2009
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
6 to 8
1 to 3
Reading age:
6 to 8
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  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Commended, South Australia Premier's Reading Challenge selection
  • Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
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Jake and his younger brother Tommy are on their first camping trip. While exploring in the woods on Marsh Island, they lose their way. When the boys start to feel like they're not the only ones wandering in the woods, they begin to wonder if the story their dad told them about old Alfred Marsh and his lost fortune is true.

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Twigs whipped at Jake's face. Roots leaped up to trip him. He couldn't breath. He glanced back, and a huge shadow lunged out from behind a tree.
   "Faster, Tommy!" he yelled.
   A boulder appeared in front of him. Jake leaped over it. He dodged around a couple of spruce trees and then plowed through some bushes. The blood pounded in his ears. He didn't care which way he went. He had to get away!

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Editorial Reviews

"Just enough surprise, lots of action, extensive lively dialogue, and a combination of compelling plot points make this an enjoyable and lively read for youngsters."

— Resource Links

"A chapter book with just the right amount of adventure for boys ages seven to ten."

— Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group

"Fast-paced and highly enjoyable. The novel is full of suspense, and readers are kept on the edge of their seats to the end…A recommended purchase for public and school libraries."

— CM Magazine

"A genuinely suspenseful transitional chapter book that will appeal to those readers who love to be scared."

— Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
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About the Authors

Sonya Spreen Bates

Sonya Spreen Bates is a Canadian writer living in South Australia. She grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, where she obtained a degree in linguistics from the University of Victoria. She then studied speech-language pathology at Dalhousie University and has spent many years working with children with communication disorders, often writing her own stories to use in therapy. Traveling to Australia was always an aspiration, but she never imagined she'd be living there one day. Sonya began writing children's fiction in 2001, inspired by her two daughters and their love of the stories she told them. She now writes for children and adults, and has been published in Australia and New Zealand as well as Canada. For more information, visit www.sonyaspreenbates.com.
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Kasia Charko

Working in watercolor and colored pencil, Kasia Charko creates detailed, colorful paintings that bring period, place and character to life. Born and educated in England, Kasia lives in Alton, Ontario, with her family of animals.
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