Book Review: Joshua’s Island by Patrick Hodges
Joshua’s Island by Patrick Hodges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Joshua Harper lives in a happy family with both parents and an older sister. Not the sort of child that would be a victim of bullies, you might think, but he is slightly small for his age and his parents are working long hours. Rhonda the most popular girl in the school takes a dislike to him as she likes to show her power to the rest of the school. She sets her little gang against Joshua and makes the whole school treat him as an outcast. To say the least the head of the school is ineffectual, if not grossly incompetent.
Like many children who are bullied, Joshua feels ashamed and doesn’t enlist the help of his parents. He just has to survive one more year and then he will move school. In science class Joshua is partnered with Eve, one of Rhonda’s group. She won’t talk to Joshua because of everything she’s heard about him, but eventually she realizes that they are all lies and that Joshua is being beaten up on a regular basis.
This is the story of Joshua, with Eve’s help, trying to reach safety within a school environment. It is beautifully written and I believe it should be in every secondary school library (suitable for children eleven and over).
It is written in the first person, which makes the events more immediate as you feel the emotions. It is also written in two points of view, so there is a chapter by Joshua and then one by Eve. This works well, because within each chapter the author sticks strictly to one point of view.
I recommend this book to everyone over the age of eleven. Joshua and Eve are thirteen and there are some excellent younger characters. Obviously this book is aimed at an audience of young people and not at my age group but even so I thoroughly enjoyed the read.