That first year of teaching was 2001, which coincidentally is when Island: Book One was released. Part of a trilogy, Island is like a teenage Gilligan's Island, if the castaways were troubled and instead of a 3 hour tour, they were sent on an experience at sea to rid them of their individual struggles. I asked two of my third grade boys to read this book and we will be discussing it together. I started it weeks ago but finished it today and tomorrow will discuss the book with my students. I am planning on giving them the next book in the trilogy and would like to hook them into Gordon Korman's books as there are many other adventurous books as well as funny ones that I think they would enjoy.
Adventure isn't my favorite genre, so I found myself reading quickly through some of the descriptive scenes about the ship and its' inner workings. My class is focusing on identifying social issues in the books they are reading and this book had many: wealthy vs. poor and the advantages/disadvantages that go along with each, sibling rivalry and violence, the price of being a winning athlete and loneliness. I'm hoping the second book in the trilogy gives us more insight into the characters and how they came to find themselves on the sinking ship.