Bob Konrad’s assured young adult debut builds on his highly successful career writing for children’s radio and TV. The Island of Nightmares takes young readers on a fast-paced journey into a fantasy realm beyond their wildest dreams – or nightmares …
A labyrinthine city where it’s impossible to get your bearings, a seething volcano and a girl with marble eyes – Rocky’s worst dreams come true one night, when he finds himself trapped on the Island of Nightmares. He meets weird and wonderful creatures with horns on their heads, aggressive talking bears and a crazy professor. The only way for Rocky to escape is to overcome his greatest fear. And the only person who can help him is the mysterious girl with the marble eyes.
Rocky has been having the same nightmare over and over again, so one night he decides to escape his dream by staying awake. To his surprise he discovers airships moored outside every house in his street and mysterious goat-like creatures coming into people’s homes. One seems to be looking for him. He takes refuge inside an airship and finds himself transported to the Island of Nightmares, home to all the monsters created in people’s bad dreams. Rocky finds another intrepid human being there – Doctor Heinrich Hahn, an explorer in search of new worlds. But to their horror, the Grand Old Lady who rules the island has decreed that any humans who go there should be thrown into the volcano. After all kinds of adventures, Rocky learns to face his fears, makes friends with the girl with the marble eyes, and finds his way home to his family. Although he keeps dreaming of the girl, his dreams are no longer nightmares.
This lively, irreverent book is sure to capture its readers’ imagination, and to have them chuckling along the way. Fans of fantasy fiction will delight in the creative details which bring Rocky’s out-of-this-world adventure to life. The story of Rocky’s exploits is interspersed with humorous illustrations and excerpts from Doctor Hahn’s travel journal, ensuring there is always something new to draw the reader’s attention. The Island of Nightmares is a consummate adventure story which whets readers’ appetites for more from this talented author.
All recommendations from Spring 2014