This review is for another of
Max Elliot Anderson's
books for boys, that girls enjoy reading just as much.
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
For readers 8 and up, especially boys.
For more information e-mai firstname.lastname@example.org
Anderson, Max Elliot. Lost Island Smugglers: A Sam Cooper Adventure #1 (published in 2010 by Sharks Finn, an imprint of Port Yonder Press LLC, Shellsburg, IA).
How do you think that you would react if you were caught in a storm at sea and landed on a deserted island only to find out that it was the hideout of drug smugglers? Samuel Clement Cooper, age eleven, lives with his dad, who is a research biologist, and mom. Mr. Cooper’s job has kept the family moving frequently during Sam’s short life, so he’s always the new kid in school and has difficulty making friends. Now, they are moving to Harper’s Inlet, FL, and his dad will be working on a project in the Everglades. The contract is for two years, but they might get to stay five. At Sunday school in the church where the Coopers decide to attend, Sam meets Tony and Tyler. Tony’s father owns a marina, so Tony invites Tyler and Sam to take free scuba lessons.
One day, while Tony’s father is away on a buying trip, the boys decide to try out their new skills by taking one of the rental sailboats, a catamaran, and scuba diving in the ocean. The only problem is that they don’t have permission and don’t let anyone know. Everything seems all right until a big storm blows up suddenly. Their boat is smashed to pieces and they find themselves stranded on Lost Island, where they build themselves a shelter, find a wrecked boat with some food, and think of how they might survive until help arrives—if it ever does. But that is not the worst news. The three discover that the island is a secret hideout used by drug smugglers with high powered speed boats. Sam and his friends know that they need to do something to stop the men. But what? Will they succeed or get themselves killed? And will they ever be rescued?
Author Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a reluctant reader. Therefore, he has written action adventures and mysteries for readers eight and up, especially boys. We did Lost Island Smugglers as a bed-time read aloud, and everyone thought that it is great. It is certainly an exciting, action-packed adventure story that both boys and girls will enjoy. In addition, I liked two other things about the book: that religion is portrayed as a normal part of people’s lives, and that good character traits are emphasized. Yes, Sam, Tony, and Tyler make a terrible mistake in sneaking off without telling anyone and suffer some serious consequences as a result. However, they learn a valuable lesson from their disobedience, and so will children who read the book. Book #2, Captain Jack’s Treasure, is already in production, and Book #3, River Rampage, is also planned. Several of Anderson’s other books for boys are being republished as well by Comfort Publishing. They’ll release Barney and the Runaway this fall and follow that by republishing The Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbott’s Cave, and Legend of the White Wolf.