What are my kids reading this November?

The Stormkeeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle

All I can say about this book is WOW! I loved it! For any junior school children solidly into their chapter books, this is a real beauty! Set on Arranmore Island, the story focuses on young Fionn Boyle and his annoying older sister Tara who are sent to live with their mysterious grandfather, known as The Storm Keeper of the island. With Fionn’s arrival, the island and it’s spirits start to stir leading Fionn to adventure and the need to protect the ones he loves from a sinister ancient magic that lives deep in the island itself.

The title is intriguing as is the story as it unfolds and the story can’t help but stir the imagination. I was hooked as was my middle son Calum, aged 8, and we now can’t wait to read the second book in the series!

Doyle’s characters are honestly so believable. They are full of vigour, humor, teenage backchat, love and sibling rivalry. But more than the young relationships in the story, the one that really stirred me was the bond that formed between Fionn and his grandfather, the Storm Keeper. It is filled with joy and love and sadness too and as the title of storm Keeper is passed from one generation to the next, Doyle touches on the issues of memory loss, frustration and fragility that comes with old age.

Besides the characters, Doyles descriptions of the island and the weather that surrounds it are gorgeous too. She is lyrical and guttural and I could really feel the island breeze and taste the salty sea air in her descriptions. You can tell that she knows the island and Irish mythology well and grew up imagining these stories as a child. The island could literally be a character in the story in its own right!

Doyles writing is compelling, beautifully descriptive and full of heart. I can’t recommend this book enough!

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