Egbert lives on an ugly fruit plantation on Deadweather Island with his strict, quiet father and horrible older brother and sister. Deadweather is basically a stinky volcano sticking up out of the middle of the ocean, and the only other thing on the island besides his family’s orchard is a port town infested with pirates. One day his dad comes back from the volcano’s side acting unusual and immediately takes the family on an unexpected trip to the nearby beautiful Sunrise Island. On Sunrise the family comes in contact with the rich, powerful and seemingly kind Roger Pembroke and his beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Things seem to be turning up for Egbert, but they quickly turn treacherous and he is thrown into an endless succession of predicaments on land and at sea in which he must save his own life, then the ugly fruit plantation, and perhaps the whole future of the islands. Plus, he has totally fallen for Millicent, but pursuing her is complicated to say the least.
The book starts off a bit slow, but once the groundwork has been laid, Egg finds himself in ordeal after ordeal filled with non-stop action. Egg is a great but unlikely hero to follow along through these adventures. He does not have incredible talents or superpowers and he makes lots of mistakes, but he has tenacity, a lot of luck, and a good heart that brings unlikely friends to his aid in unlikely times and places. He is also a humorous, thoughtful, self-deprecating narrator. There are a lot of other great characters, and the world in which they live is rendered vividly; these are some of the rewards for the aforementioned slightly slow start. The saga continues in Book 2, New Lands, which is also highly recommended.
Content note: This being a story involving pirate characters, there are references to alcohol consumption and some instances of dashed-out “implied” swearing.
Review by Joshua Whiting, Granite School District Library Specialist
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-9
Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, Book 1)
Written by Geoff Rodkey
Release Date: May 29, 2012
ISBN: 9780399257858 (hardcover)