Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lost Island Smugglers by Max Elliot Anderson

Lost Island Smugglers. Max Elliot Anderson. SharksFinn: A Port Yonder Press Imprint. 2010. 263 pp. ISBN #: 9781935600022.

Sam Cooper is moving again because his Dad’s work as a research biologist takes the family to new exciting places, this time to the Florida Everglades. But the hard part is making friends and having to leave them, although Sam has no problem with that part of the move. If anything, his friends have a harder time because Sam’s a fun and reliable guy; he’s used to leaving but they’re not used to losing friends. On arrival to his new home, he quickly makes friends with a very funny “doughnuts” story.

Next thing that happens very quickly is that Sam is invited to learn scuba diving for free as his friend’s father owns a marina and rents boats and equipment. Sam, Tony, and Tyler quickly master this sport which they all love. Pretty soon they are ready to go beyond the training area, but they are about to explore where it’s dangerous to go!

Sam is having plenty of scary dreams about diving, especially now they are going out for their first solo dive, a fact that Sam has neglected to tell his parents. Off they go on a catamaran, which is a totally new experience for Sam, riding along with the motor to propel them instead of the wind and using sails to course through the water. An unexpected storm is about to turn their plans haywire, and they wind up on Lost Island, unable to leave and unprepared with no food or shelter. That’s nothing compared to what they soon see on the island, some mysteriously-dressed men who don’t look very friendly and who are taking extra care to hide a secret.

Lost Island Smugglers grips the reader’s interest and continues to hold it until the very last page. Max Elliot Anderson describes the boys’ adventures so realistically that the reader feels like he or she is right there participating. This novel, which is part of the “Sam Cooper Adventure” series is a terrific addition to the exciting books Anderson continues to write for young adults! Very nicely done, Mr. Anderson!

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