Fourteen-year-old Alex is reeling from the death of her twin brother Adam. Her parents’ marriage is falling apart. She is shipped off to spend the summer with her aunt on Brier Island, and is not pleased. She spends most of her time imagining plans to sneak onto the ferry and away – until the operator of a local whale watch invites her to join him on a cruise. That’s the day Alex meets Daredevil – a baby humpback whale whose friendliness and spontaneity reminds her of Adam.
Through her bond with Daredevil, Alex finally learns to confront her pain, let go of her guilt, and help rather than blame her parents – a lesson hard to learn at any time, but especially at her young age. Alex is a complex and imperfect character – just like most teenagers you know. Viewing the adult world through her eyes was a poignant reminder of the angst, confusion and naivety of those young years.
It is hard to imagine a more idyllic setting for a book than Nova Scotia’s Brier Island – a small island at the tip of the Digby Neck, at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. With a great balance of personal, social and ecological lessons, Lost on Brier Island is a fantastic and inspiring read for the young or young-at-heart reader on your list.
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing (September 1, 2011)