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Baby Island [Hardcover]

Carol Ryrie Brink
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1992
When a ferocious storm hits their ship, young Mary and Jean become stranded on a deserted island. They're not the only survivors; with them are four babies. Immediately the sisters set out to make the island a home for themselves and the little ones. A classic tale of courage and dedication from a Newbery Medalist author.

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Product Description

About the Author

Carol Ryrie Brink was the author of many books for young readers, including Caddie Woodlawn's Family, the companion volume to Caddie Woodlawn, and Baby Island. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
ON THE night of September twentieth the S.S. Orminta, two weeks outward bound from San Francisco to Australia, was struck by a tropical storm and badly disabled. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars True Survival Jan. 29 2004
"Reality survival" T.V. programs seem pretty tame after reading this story. ANYONE who gets marooned on a desert island could figure out how to survive...for at least a few days. Now try it with four infants. THAT would send most of us over the edge, hmmm?
Mary and Jean are only little girls themselves, yet they are faced with the responsibilities of feeding and caring for themselves and four babies. And they do a right fine job of it!
I first read this book 40 years ago, when I was about the same age as Mary and Jean. I've saved that book all of these years and re-read it from time to time. It's a delightful story that every little girl should get a chance to read! (Mary and Jean certainly could have taught the folks on Gilligan's Island a thing or two!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Island, but Lots of Fun March 28 2003
By Terrie
This fun book comes from Carol Ryrie Brink, the author who brought us Caddie Woodlawn, and while shorter and not quite up to the standards set by that great book, is one that kids are sure to enjoy.
Written in 1937 it tells the tale of two girls, 12 year old Mary and her younger sister Jean, who rescue four babies and end up floating alone with them in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean when the steamliner they are sailing on begins to sink. The quick thinking and good sense of the girls pulls them through when they run aground on a small deserted tropical island. This book was written in a "kinder, gentler" time than our own and thank goodness because the children do not experience anything traumatic or terribly frightening. They mostly exhibit plucky courage and try to do things properly with their little charges, one infant and three active toddlers. There is plenty of humor and adventure in the book, but not much realism. They easily find clean water, food and shelter, but this isn't a reality show it's a children's fantasy. The childcare methods have changed somewhat over the years and that makes the story seem rather quaint, but I found that all the more endearing. The girls insist upon having a church service every Sunday even though that only consists of singing hymns and reciting the 23rd Psalm, the only Bible passage they know by heart. Again, this is quaint but interesting and sweet. I think most modern day children will love the story and enjoy imagining what they would do under similar circumstances. This is not much like other "deserted island" stories such as Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe or even Island of the Blue Dolphins in terms of action, but it is similar to those in its ability to transport and to kindle the imagination. Check it out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for boys too Feb. 21 2003
Format:School & Library Binding
My fourth grade teacher read this book to us a chapter at a time and we were all so eager for the next day's reading. One of the very best childhood books ever. Many reviewers are commenting that it is a great girls book, but I and the other boys in class loved it too. I'm 45 now and when I chanced on a copy of Baby Island in a used book store I snatched it up. After all those years it was still a great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great memory for me Feb. 14 2003
I read this book when it first came out and I still remember that book so well I cant wait to get it and read it all over again
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baby Island Nov. 6 2002
By A Customer
I have been looking for this book for over 40 years! I read it as an adolescent, when babies were a fascinating entity to me. I dreamed of having my own and this book was a fantasy come true for me. I have just ordered "Baby Island" and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was immediately captured..... July 24 2002
By nomeite
At the age of nine, I discovered this delightful book on my mother's book shelf. I was immediately captured, from the very first sentence. "Baby Island" is the story of Jean and Mary, two young sisters who love caring for babies. Marooned on an island while enroute to join their father in Australia, the girls are quite suddenly permanently baby-sitting four babies all on their own, with all the perils and misadventures that can occur to anyone in such a situation. How they manage to survive is both fun and charming in this whimsical and engaging story. As a little girl, I found the story encouraging and inspiring, even though I knew it was not a real situation. The girls "keep your chin up" attitude, and genuine capability, is an excellent lesson for all. This is a book that not only children, but their parents as well can enjoy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Exciting With a Happy Ending May 14 2002
By A Customer
Mary and Jean Wallace are on a boat going to Australia to go live with their father. One night the ship begins to sink, and Mary instantly thinks of the Snodgrass babies, who she has often taken care of on the ship. She wakes up Jean, and they go rescue the Snodgrass twins, Elisha and Elijaj, who are 20 months and their little brother, Jonah, who is 4 months. They go to a lifeboat right before the boat goes down. Mr. Arlington gives them his baby, Ann Elizabeth, saying he will be back with his wife, but he is too late. Jean and Mary are alone with the babies. In the lifeboat, Jean finds food for them all. Then one day, they find a desert island where the babies drink coconut milk and the girls have bananas and clams.
One day Jean is walking, and she finds big foot prints with only 4 toes on the left foot. When Jean tells Mary, they are very scared but finally, they go exploring. They find a man named Mr. Peterkin who has goats and hates kids. He agrees to let them clean and cook for him for one bucket of goat's milk a week. Finally, he starts to like them and brings them extra milk. They are having a Christmas celebration at Mr. Peterkin's shack when they see a boat. Mr. Arlingon, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Wallace are on the boat; they take their children home.
I would recommend this book to a friend because it was exciting like when Jean and Mary find the foot prints. As well, the author was very easy to understand, so I got a clear picture of what it was like on the island and how hard it was.
In the beginning, I did not like Mr. Peterkin because he was mean to Jean and Mary when they really needed help because they were only kids. However, in the end, he was so nice, I liked him.
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