Stranded on Castaway Island
Stranded on Castaway Island
by Amy Laundrie
GENRE: middle grade-young adult
On a remote island with only a herd of wild horses for company, two ex-best friends struggle to survive but soon realize they’re not alone.
After a sudden storm turned what should have been a quick boat ride into a nightmare, Annie is shipwrecked on a remote island near Nova Scotia with her ex-best friend Mirra. Learning to survive together would have been easier if they could get along--not possible after the hurtful words neither can forget. Annie and Mirra's only company is a herd of wild horses--or that's what the 14-year-old girls think at first. But when they discover still warm embers from a campfire and man-sized footprints, they know they're not alone.
I clung onto the dash and hit 9 1 before a gigantic tower of greenish-gray water blasted over us. It soaked the phone. I caught my breath and tried punching the final 1. Please, oh, please. But nothing. A wall of water crashed onto the boat, soaking it more. Icy water sloshed around our ankles. The bow tilted to sea level again. “Hang on—” When I grabbed for the side-rail, the phone dropped to my feet. There was no chance of grabbing it—I was holding on for dear life as wave after wave washed onto the deck. The boat’s motor died. The storm was sweeping us out of the bay and into the open sea.
“Call the Coast Guard!” I screamed, remembering the radio.
Mirra pressed a button and shouted, “Coast Guard! Coast Guard!”
Nothing except static.
“Mayday! Mayday!” Mirra shrieked.
The bow tilted up, and the cooler slid, hitting the stern and sounding like a gunshot. Clutching onto the handrail, I held my breath. A saltwater wall, taller than any before, swept over us. Coughing and sputtering, I looked for Mirra. She was gripping the wheel. A scream stuck in my throat as the boat plunged.
When the wave sliced over us, it washed my legs out from under me. I closed my eyes as the freezing cold ocean ripped away my hat and gushed down on me.
The boat pitched sideways. I lost my grip and tumbled into the raging water.
The shark’s jaws appeared, but I only looked at its eye.
About the Author:
Amy writes about nature and animals and spends way too much time imagining what it would be like to survive on a remote island. STRANDED ON CASTAWAY ISLAND, for middle grade and young adults, is her 11th books. She also has picture books, middle-grade chapter books, and an adult memoir. She’s a columnist and her memoir, LAUGH, CRY, REFLECT: STORIES FROM A JOYFUL HEART is a compilation of her favorite pieces.
Q&A With the Author
Who is your favorite author and why?
Annie is my favorite character. She has her faults such as bossiness, but the way she struggles to help her orphaned brothers and her lonely father, and then later saves Mirra’s life, makes her a hero. I also feel compassion for her. She’s gone through so much—losing her mm and being hurt by Mirra, her best friend. And now, she also needs to try to survive!
What is your favorite quote and why?
As the raft rocked like a baby’s cradle, I longed to have my father’s strong arms around me. But I didn’t have his arms. I only had mine.
This quote reflects an important truth. We may hope that others will provide what we need, but we’re responsible for our own happiness.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Telling an exciting story is foremost. It’s also important to engage the reader by using vivid language so they see the action and feel the emotions.
What is your favorite part of this story?
I like the intense action scenes such as when a shark circles the raft and Annie, who only has a small knife, attempts to protect her and Mirra.
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
Mirra was a lot of fun to write about because she’s so unlike me. She’s cool with her purple hair and her popularity. I also enjoyed developing her character arc since she begins with no practical skills but by the end, she’s confident and proud of her accomplishments.
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
So I don’t spoil the book, I’ll name that person “the watcher.” Like Mirra, this character differs greatly from me and has had a scary incident in his past. Here’s the excerpt from the book when the girls meet “the watcher” for the first time. (Annie is bathing and Mirra is trying to catch a duck in a deep lake.)
Pretending I had fragrant shampoo, I used my left hand to massage my scalp. I dunked into the lake. Afterward, I examined my boils. The fresh water seemed to have helped them.
I let myself relax and daydream about food. Tons and tons of food. I pictured entering a restaurant. A server brought me a tall glass of ice water and an enormous bowl of salad with crisp lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and French dressing. She cleared away the empty dishes and brought a heaping plate of spaghetti with meatballs. For dessert, a hot fudge sundae.
A scream in the distance made me freeze. Splashing sounds were followed by a second scream. Cut off abruptly. Drowning! Mirra was drowning!
No time! I ran like never before. She can’t swim! I have to save her!
The duck pond was in my line of vision, and a silhouette took shape. A man? A man was carrying Mirra away!
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/LaundrieAuthorPage
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Amy Laundrie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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