When he is sentenced to 10 weeks on the island of Slabhenge, Jonathan doesn’t protest. After all, he deserves to be there, for what he’s done. He’s ashamed of it, and feels horribly guilty for what has happened, and he’s actually glad to be away from home and his parents because he can’t face them.
What he doesn’t expect totally are the conditions of the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. To say the “school” is something out of the dark ages would be nice. The Admiral, as the head of the school likes to be called, believes in no frills and is quick to punish. After arriving on the stone island, which had been an insane asylum years before, he is sent to bed with no food, and when he is locked up in his cell for the night, he gets a bucket of water thrown on him for talking to the boy in the cell next to his. Basically, the place is horrible. And then he finds out that the Admiral consistently keeps boys longer than their sentence, so who knows how long he will actually be on Slabhenge.
But during morning roll call, something happens that changes the direction of his stay on the island, and as the days progress, it becomes apparent, this can change the whole direction of his life, if he can survive.
Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart is an adventure story set within stone walls and on an island where there doesn’t appear to be any escape. The boys residing on the island all have their secrets, but some are more closely guarded than others, as is evident by Jonathan and his troubled past.
Recommended for grades 6 and up.