New MIddle Grade Fiction: Vanishing Island – Barry Wolverton

Wolverton is the author of the middle grade animal adventure, Neversink, which Kirkus said had “history and myth reminiscent of Norse sagas [in which] feathered denizens impart lessons in power, leadership and the role of ‘stories’ in the guise of a fantasy adventure.”

Here Wolverton deftly incorporates his love of history and myth to weave a sea-faring adventure story that delightfully drops true snippets of seafaring history into an exciting alternate history. Best part? It’s only the beginning—two more installments to come!

Twelve-year-old Bren Owen has always wanted to travel the world seeking adventure, but his father has kept him at home in Map, “the dirtiest, noisiest, smelliest city in all of Britannia.” The year is 1599, and Holland is the great sea power in this first book in the Chronicles of the Black Tulip series, set in an alternate past. Holland has colonies throughout Southeast Asia, and when a ship of the Dutch Bicycle & Tulip Company stops in Map, Bren would do anything to get on board. A mysterious object Bren receives from a dying sailor gives him the chance he has been waiting for, but it also causes more adventure than he is entirely comfortable with. Wolverton’s story speeds along suspensefully through a history intriguingly different from our own.”
Publishers Weekly

 “After surviving a pirate attack, a mutiny, and, finally, being cast overboard, [Brin and his Chinese friend Mouse] find their way to an island long vanished from any map only to realize that their journey doesn’t end there. Wolverton deftly draws parallels between Western astrology and Chinese mythology and cleverly weaves fiction and legend into history. Fast-paced and entertaining, this fine trilogy opener will keep both fantasy and historical-fiction buffs turning the pages.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In 1599, when explorers are out discovering the world – Poor Bren Owen is hopelessly stuck — in the stifling town of Map. A string of bad luck lands him in the right place at the right time, and soon enough, he is realizing his dream of being an explorer of the high seas! There is plenty of action and adventure – with a sense of humor – and characters you love to root for, and some you thoroughly enjoy rooting against. Fast-paced, with touches of the magical and mythological, there is something for everyone in this new series. I can’t wait to get back on board for the next installment!”
— Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

The Vanishing Island (9780062221902) by Barry Wolverton. $16.99 hardcover. 9/1/15 on sale.

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