From Barnes and Noble, this list:
Delightful theme for a list, especially delightful since it was compiled by Charlotte Taylor, of Charlotte’s Library blog. Charlotte does weekly roundups of MG fantasy and SF, so she’s on top of the genre in a way that most of us can’t, or at least don’t, manage for any genre. Plus Charlotte’s taste in books is parallel to mine, in broad terms, so any books she recommends are worth a second look. In this case, the list includes some historicals as well as fantasy, such as —
Island War, by Patricia Reilly Giff
11-year-old Izzy is taken by her ornithologist mother for an extended stay on a remote Alaskan island, and 14-year-old Matt arrives at the same time, unwillingly visiting his own father. Though they both have troubles adjusting to their new home, they don’t become friends. Then Pearl Harbor is bombed. The Japanese army invades the island, rounds up all its inhabitants and sends them to camps in Japan. Matt and Izzy escape, and are left behind. They are forced to join forces in order to survive, scavenging for food and always fearful that they will be found. When winter comes, and Matt falls ill, survival becomes even more difficult. This gripping adventure, based on a little-known piece of American history, will appeal to any kid who loves stories of kids surviving danger on their own.
I like WWII stories (as long as there’s a happy-ish ending) and survival stories, so this one sounds appealing to me. This setup reminds me of Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I loved when I was a kid.
In this list, Charlotte stretches out a bit from MG to include Nation by Terry Pratchett, not to mention The Floating Islands.
Not tired of islands yet? Then here’s a list from tor.com: Five Books About Fantastical Islands. Of these, I have one on my Kindle — The Girl with the Glass Feet — not sure where I heard of that one, but here’s the description:
The wintry archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land is the setting for this magic realist coming-of-age tale. Ali Shaw captures both characters and landscapes caught in stasis, woodlands and frozen fens in hibernation. Magic flits between the branches, drifts of jellyfish light the icy waters, and Ida McLaird is slowly turning to glass. Ida’s search for a cure reopens old wounds but also brings the chance of redemption, her journey across the island taking her from heart-stopping danger to nothing less than true love.
And for classics, not only Treasure Island but also LeGuin’s Earthsea — if I remember correctly, the world in that one is essentially a single archipelago.
If you’ve got a favorite book set on an island, drop it in the comments!