Tori, Marvin, and Noah would rather be anywhere else than on the seventh-grade class field trip to Raven Island prison. Tori would rather be on the soccer field, but her bad grades have benched her until further notice; Marvin would rather be at the first day of a film festival with his best friend, Kevin; and Noah isn't looking forward to having to make small talk with his classmates at this new school.
But when the three of them stumble upon a dead body in the woods, miss the last ferry back home, and then have to spend the night on Raven Island, they find that they need each other now more than ever. They must work together to uncover a killer, outrun a motley ghosthunting crew, and expose the age-old secrets of the island all before daybreak.
Daybreak on Raven Island is Fleur Bradley’s new enjoyable, spooky middle grade novel. It follows a trio of kids, Tori, Noah, and Melvin, as they get stuck on Raven Island and its now defunct prison. It's basically as the synopsis lays it out.
I enjoyed the plot since it was deeply tied to the environment and characters. I also liked the many twist and turns with the ghost hunting and mystery, which I don’t think it was overly scary for young readers. The biggest thing I noticed was the budding friendship between Tori, Noah, and Melvin. We get to know a little of their background, history, and ambitions through the first few chapters. Here you kind of get the idea of how each of them fit into the story later on. Many things became clearer as the story unfolded while they roamed the island looking for clues and bumping into other characters. For instance, how each character realizes and comes to terms with their issues and emotions with the help of each other. Or like how the complex subject of prison is intertwined in the story. Although some of the story was predictable, that conclusion definitely wasn’t.
Overall, I personally loved Daybreak on Raven Island. If it sounds like it’s up your or your young reader’s alley, you'll want to check this one out.
Thanks for reading!
Thank you for your interest in my work! I had so much fun researching and writing my latest mystery for kids, Daybreak on Raven Island; I hope that translates as you’re reading.
Daybreak on Raven Island started with setting, as most of my books do. I was looking for a new (mysterious) place to spark my imagination, and quickly thought of Alcatraz. Alcatraz Island has a such a scary vibe, and as I was doing my research, I also found that there are a lot of unsolved mysteries surrounding the island. Including a prison break in 1962…Three inmates escaped Alcatraz, and no one ever knew if they drowned or made it off the island. I decided to take this real-life story and create my own mystery. I gave Tori, Marvin and Noah the task to solve the case of an infamous prison break from Raven Island, I added a present-day murder mystery, and a few ghosts to make things more complicated. Plus, I added a deep secret to Raven Island itself—you’ll have to read the book to find out what that is.
As I learned more of the terrible conditions of Alcatraz and how things are still not always fair today, I tried to shed some light on this through Tori’s character. I learned that one in 28 kids in America has had an incarcerated parent, which is something kids often keep a secret. And that must be really, really hard. I hope Daybreak on Raven Island sparks some thought or conversation, so those kids don’t feel alone in carrying this burden.
Find out more about me, my books and where to find me at www.fleurbradley.com
All best in reading,
Fleur Bradley is the author of the (scary) middle-grade mystery Daybreak on Raven Island, and award-winning mystery Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/Penguin Random House).
Her story The Perfect Alibi appeared in Mystery Writers of America’s middle-grade anthology Super Puzzletastic Mysteries, edited by Chris Grabenstein (HarperCollins).
Fleur regularly does school and Skype visits, as well as librarian and educator conference talks on reaching reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters, and entirely too many rescue animals.
Where to find her:
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