Island of the Unknowns from Amulet Books

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Whether you have a tween that is bitten by the book bug and reads all the time, or one that only reads a certain type of book, some of the Amulet Books most exciting and popular reads are now available as paperbacks.

Island of the Unknowns by Benedict Cary
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald (I did a review on this title for the hardcover version)
Violet in Bloom by Lauren Myracle

I’m sure my opinion on a couple of them is not the norm, but then I’m quite conservative in what I let my daughter read, and so I will give a review on the one we liked the best, and the one I had the least objections to.

Island of the Unknowns Synopsis:

Folsom Adjacent is a nothing kind of place, full of hundreds of beat-up mobile homes next to a power plant. It’s so dull that it doesn’t even have its own name. (Adjacent means nearby or next to . . . ) Nothing exciting ever happens there. That is, until one wee in July, when people begin to vanish . . .
Typical Adjacent – no one has any idea what’s going on, or seems to care. It will take two clever outcasts, Lady Di Smith and Tom Jones, to figure out the truth behind the strange disappearances, and they’ll do it using the weirdest method of all: math.
This gripping mystery, spiked with clues to decode, will have readers “swept up in the fast talk and exciting actions”.


The way this book is written is not done a lot – a mystery that the main characters need to solve using math. Unlike a lot of popular teen books, there’s no supernatural powers, vampires or first loves (which I am quite happy about!).

I thought it was interesting how the math problems were integrated right into the book, so that the reader could visualize (and perhaps help!) Princess Di and her group of ‘friends’ solve the problems and figure out why their friend Malba Clarke left them. The only thing that makes the book a little difficult to read is that the math might actually be above some of those reading the book, and if they aren’t into math or problem solving they might get distracted or bored before finishing the book.

Those kids that love math, science and problem solving will find it interesting, and unique compared to most books focused on their age group.

Thanks to Abrams for sending copies of the books to review.

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