KENSUKE’S KINGDOM by Michael Morpurgo

KENSUKE’S KINGDOM

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

More adventure than ordeal, this survival tale will fit the bill for thoughtful readers discomfited by extreme violence or gross details. To Michael, the round-the-world sail he’s taking with his parents aboard the 42-foot Peggy Sue is great fun, until the moment he and his dog Stella Artois are washed overboard. Michael comes to on a small island, inhabited by gibbons, a colony of orangutans—and Kensuke, a Japanese naval doctor stranded there more than 40 years before. The plot centers around Michael’s emotional ups and down as he battles loneliness and mosquitoes, then grows closer to his rescuer, who supplies him with food and water, but makes him stay on one end of the island, at least until he’s stung by a jellyfish, and needs nursing back to health. Kensuke has built a small, beautiful world for himself that he teaches Michael to see, and to paint, in exchange for English lessons and news of the outside. When Michael’s steadfast parents arrive, after nearly a year’s searching, to carry him and Stella away, Kensuke opts to stay behind—but it’s plain that his spirit and simplicity have worked profound changes on his young charge. A prizewinning import: sensitive, perceptive, and well-told. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-38202-5
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2003




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