Island comes alive with vivid tale of cliffs, rocks and a little injured bird;Curriculum

10th September 1999 at 01:00
Island of Birds by Sylvia Turtle is a book about the islands of St Kilda.

It is an enchanting story about Flora and Neil, two inhabitants of the island before their evacuation in 1930.

The evacuation is due to the harsh winters when the island is completely cut off from the mainland, with its essential food and hospitals because of very heavy snow and fierce ocean storms.

Flora is devastated by the news of the evacuation, and realises she does not want to leave her island to live in a strange place.

While gathering peat together on a hill top one day, Flora and Neil stumble on an injured bird.

As they gradually nurse it back to health, Flora starts to have second thoughts about leaving the island which has always been her home.

Sylvia Turtle has aimed her book at the minds of those aged eight and up, which is about right.

Although it is easy to follow, it takes some understanding to find the true meaning of the story.

The story provided us with information about the islanders' way of life in comparison to our own.

It is clear that Sylvia Turtle has done some research before writing, because she has included a lot of descriptions of the island of St Kilda, including its cliffs, the rocks and the birds on the island.

The book gave me a very clear picture of what was happening at all times.

Island of Birds is a good but different kind of story, with easily understood language.

I give it 9 out of 10.

Secondary 2 Perth Grammar School

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