By Richard W. Jennings
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780618806324, 192pp.)
Publication Date: May 2007
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When fourteen-year-old William Madison Lee Cooper Finn ran away, he had no idea where his adventures would lead him. Fate, it would seem, had plans for Will. And so he finds himself thrown overboard from a sightseeing riverboat and washed up on a seemingly deserted island in the middle of the mighty Mississippi.
To some, such an event might seem tragic, but as Will assembles a small shelter for himself, he begins to savor his first taste of real freedom. Soon, however, Will discovers that he is not alone on the island. A reclusive author, giant, menacing ferrets, and another victim of insufficient riverboat railings also inhabit the island.
Join Will on this wild adventure as he encounters a raft of unusual animals and kooky characters, and learns a little something about himself and this strange world as he makes his way back to where he began.
Richard W. Jennings has published more than fifty essays, articles, and short stories, including The Tragic Tale of the Dog Who Killed Himself, published by Bantam Books in 1980 to widespread critical acclaim, in addition to his recent titles published with Houghton Mifflin -- Orwell's Luck, The Great Whale of Kansas, My Life of Crime, and Scribble. He is cofounder of a popular Kansas City-area bookstore and former editor of KANSAS CITY MAGAZINE. He has five children, four grandchildren, a dog, a cat, and a parrot and lives in Kansas.
Jennings, who should win the Mel Brooks of the Middle Grade Novel Award any day now, once again treats readers to eccentric characters . . . and outrageous wordplay.