Abel's place in his familiar, mouse world has always been secure; he had an allowance from his mother, a comfortable home, and a lovely wife, Amanda. But one stormy August day, furious flood water carry him off and dump him on an uninhabited island. Despite his determination and stubborn resourcefulness--he tried crossing the river with boats and ropes and even on stepping-stones--Abel can't find a way to get back home.
Days, then weeks and months, pass. Slowly, his soft habits disappear as he forages for food, fashions a warm nest in a hollow log, models clay statues of his family for company, and continues to brood on the problem of how to get across the river--and home.
Abel's time on the island brings him a new understanding of the world he's separated from. Faced with the daily adventure of survival in his solitary, somewhat hostile domain, he is moved to reexamine the easy way of life he had always accepted and discovers skills and talents in himself that hold promise of a more meaningful life, if and when he should finally return to Mossville and his dear Amanda again.
Abel's Island is a 1976 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year, and a 1977 Newbery Honor Book.
- Book Quality:
- Book Size:
- 117 Pages
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Date of Addition:
- Copyrighted By:
- William Steig
- Adult content:
- Animals, Teens, Children's Books, Literature and Fiction
- Grade Levels:
- Seventh grade, Sixth grade, Fifth grade, Fourth grade, Third grade
- Submitted By:
- Carrie Karnos
- Proofread By:
- Carrie Karnos
- Usage Restrictions:
- This is a copyrighted book.
5 out of 5
By Bookshare.org Volunteer on Jan 11, 2009
I had forgotten how witty and complex the writing is in the 100+ pages of this short but great book, "Abel's Island." While emminently enjoyable for upper elementary school readers, particularly those with a penchant for words and language, teachers in Grades 5 - 8 (U.S.) will find the book a rich place to mine for topics to discuss adolescent issues and self-concept. Among them are remaking yourself for the better, resourcefulness, the need for self-sufficiency inspite of wealth, finding your purpose, and a truly beautiful message about fidelity in the expression of how much this mouse-husband loves and misses his wife. Even the highest achieving students would easily find a word-a-page or more that they would not know. The book is illustrated throughout with Steig's touching, yet oddly amusing, pen-and-ink drawings. To top it all off, the book has a wry conclusion. "Abel's Island" would be a gentle introduction to the study of epic stories--from Abel's perspective, his year in the wild and return to civilization has a Homeric quality. On all counts, this is a rich, rich book.<p> Newberry Honor, 1977