Book Review: Diana and the Island of No Return

We are back in school as of Wednesday. My district is going to do online learning for at least 3 weeks. I must say it went beautifully! Our tech team is amazing and we (teachers and students) have been well trained! I was so excited to see the students faces and hear their voices!

This book was given to me by Random House for Young Readers via NetGalley. I picked this book because… Wonder Woman! I have Bardugo’s Wonder Woman on my TBR pile too, but who knows when I’ll get to that.

Diana and the Island of No Return

By Aisha Saeed
Random House Books for Young Readers
288 pages

This book is set when Diana was a preteen (estimate). Her mother won’t let her train but Diana has watched warrior women train her whole life. She was finally given a sword the previous summer, but it is not THE sword. The lasso of truth does make an appearance in this book and plays a role.

In the beginning of this book, Diana is eagerly awaiting her friend’s arrival for the festival. Her friend lives on a secret island with people who are keepers of knowledge. (I want to live on THAT island!)

Then during the festival Diana discovers a boy. Of course, she’s never seen a boy before so she is curious. She isn’t sure if she can trust him when he warns her of great danger.

Who will like this story?

Island of No Return is a quick, easy read perfect for preteens. A strong 3rd grade reader could enjoy this book. The writing style is utilitarian and straightforward which is good for this kind of book.

If you like a fast-paced superhero stories about friendship, trust, and bravery, you’ll love this story. I teach kids age 11-13 and I see them struggling to navigate friendships. In middle school their friend circle expands as they meet new people and with that comes a prioritizing of time that they didn’t have to do as much before. With this sometimes comes a feeling of betrayal when their friends don’t make them a priority.

Kids struggle with who they can trust with which secrets and dreams. Sometimes they trust the wrong friends and learn difficult lessons. There is a lot in this story about trust which will resonate with readers in this age group.

If this book sounds like something you want to read you can get it from anywhere books are sold but please consider helping Indie Bookshops. Here is my list of middle grade favorite books (so far!) and this book is included.

I’d love to hear your suggestions for this list too! Leave a comment or send me an email.

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