Scabbit Isle by Tom Pow
Challenges - 100+ books, New Author and A to Z Title
This book is aimed at teenagers and is about a boy called Sam. Sam and his family have recently moved to the area they live in, following the accidental death of his twin sister in a car accident. His family are struggling to come to terms with her death and are each dealing with it in their own way.
Due to the move, Sam has had to start a new secondary school, which he is finding hard, due to the constant nastiness of two boys, Lee and Shane.
During the lead up to the new millennium, the town are preparing for a great lantern procession. All local families gather together to make lanterns for the parade. During this time, Sam sees the girl, an unusually dressed girl wearing a shawl with bare feet. Sam's curiosity gets the better of him and he follows the girl, only to find that she disappears. Over the next few weeks, Sam continues to catch glimpses of the girl and follows her to Black Loch. Black Loch used to be known as Scabbit Isle in the 1800's and it was where people from the town were sent if they had the plague.
Sam begins to realise that this girl is a ghost, who needs his help. With the help of Mr Carruthers the local historian, he discovers the true identity of the girl and provides her with the help she needs to pass over to the other side.
Whilst at Black Loch, Sam begins a friendship with Lee, the boy who had previously bullied him and they end up being very good friends.
I enjoyed this book, but I felt there wasn't enough to it. I really felt that it could have been expanded greatly. The story line was really good and once I got into the story, I was desperate to find out what would happen, only to be disappointed by the very quick ending. I understand the story was resolved, but I felt there could have been more drama and suspense in the end.
I liked the character of Sam; still suffering from the lost of his sister, you could see why he was sympathetic to the ghostly girl Janet,who wanted to pass over. You felt sorry for his dad, who blamed himself for the loss of Sam's sister, however by the end of the book, when he became frightened that he might have lost Sam too, he realised what he had been putting his family through over the last year.
From reading his website, I have found that Tom Pow is more of a poet, than a fiction writer. He has four poetry books available and he has also written a couple of books for younger children.
I did enjoy this book and would say to others to read it i f you are looking for a quick read, but I was disappointed with the quick climax to the end. I really do feel it could have been stretched out further and more drama could have been added. It felt as if a dramatic story had been set up, but then not delivered.
I would love to know if anyone has read any of his poetry books and what they thought of them.
Thats all for today, folks, catch you tomorrow.