Ten-year-old Rolf Arneson from Minnesota visits Iceland. During his stay he meets an Icelandic girl named Frida who introduces him to a world of magic, folklore, glaciers and erupting volcanoes. Learn how they work together to save a small town about to be destroyed by a volcanic eruption.
©2005 William Graham (P)2015 William Graham
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Rolf and his mother travel to a small island off the coast of Iceland to visit their distant friends. Ten year-old Frida is grieving the loss of her mother, but is excited to show off the magic of her home to her new friend. Frida and Rolf are still young enough to believe in the “Hidden People,” the elf-like people who sometimes help the Icelanders. But mostly the magical people just want to be left alone. Of course, most of the adults don’t believe in the Hidden People and ignore the children’s stories about them. But when the island itself is facing destruction, they have to listen.
Volcano Island is for young children (5 to 10 years-old). The plot is straightforward and easily followed. The adventures are exciting enough, but not frightening, and the Hidden People are not threatening. The magic is really about good advice when it is important. The story is mostly about the friendship between two ten year-olds facing the challenges of alienation in their own lives, coming together to give each other confidence to trust their own judgment.
Mary Allwright performs the audiobook well. She has a friendly voice that fits the story. She does occasionally stumble over words or phrases, but that seems to make the story more authentic, more like a parent reading to a child, than a professional actor.
This simple tale of friendship and magical adventure should appeal to many young children. There are unusual animals, adventure, the mystery of friendly elves and the dramatic setting of Iceland and its long summer days. Children's taste and attention spans vary widely. A patient 5 year old might enjoy this story more than an antsy 10 year old. As with all children's stories, the parent knows his or her child's interests best.
Children’s Fiction 5 to 10 years old.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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I've never been to Iceland, but I can see it in my mind on hearing this tale full of magic and folklore. The narrator has a rich, beautiful way of telling the story. It gave me hours of listening pleasure.
I think the audio version of Volcano Island is much better than the printed version because I think the narrator did an amazing job of portraying the emotions behind the story and capturing my attention throughout.
Overall, I think that having the ability to listen to someone, like Mary Allwright, who knows how to read with feeling and knows how to captivate an audience, further enhances the experience.
There were many things I liked about this story. But, in picking one, I think the story's visual language and ability to portray beautiful imagery was my favorite. Taking place in Iceland, there were so many beautiful surroundings and the book did an amazing job of bringing these beautiful settings to life.
Mary Allwright's narration was always clear and captivating. Her voice was calming at the necessary times and yet, chilling at others and her performance thoroughly kept my interest throughout.
Once I started Volcano Island I was hooked and wanted to listen to it all at one time. However, being that I have 2 little children I had to listen to the story over several sittings.
Volcano Island's plot is filled with friendship, adventure, danger and excitement, which I think interests people of all ages. I know that this book is listed under the category: "Children's Books," however, I think it is a book that people of all ages will enjoy.
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