Jonathan Grisby has been sent to Slabhenge, a reform school for boys. It used to be an insane asylum and is on an island in some very rough seas. Run by by the Admiral and a crew of nefarious men, it might seem that the inmates have taken over the asylum. When a crazy accident kills all the adults, the boys are on their own. They are prepared to send a rescue message with the mail boat that comes every day when a few decide it might be interesting to just be on their own for awhile, so they trick the mail boat driver and form their own little society. That’s when things get interesting.
Author Dan Gemeinhart takes a helping of Shutter Island and mixes it with a bit of Treasure Island and a huge dollop of Lord of the Flies to create a contemporary middle-grade novel that will capture its intended audience and keep them turning pages until the surprising and exciting climax. This is a terrific book, and middle-grade boys — those boys that are so hard to get to read a book — especially will love it.