Thursday, May 04, 2006

Review: The Strange Intruder by Arthur Catherall

copyright 1964, republished by Bethlehem Books, 151 pages, softcover
originally published in Great Britain under the title The Strange Invader

reviewed by Alicia Van Hecke

The Faroe Islands are located almost midway between Scotland and Iceland. Locals sustain themselves through fishing and bird-hunting. The meeting of the Gulf Stream with an icy Polar current makes for unpredictable weather that can lead to great dangers on the island of Mykines; a place whose rough landings and wild weather make accessibility nearly impossible for all but the locals who are accustomed to its tides and rocky beaches.

In The Strange Intruder, an injured schooner, an unusual passenger and fierce weather conspire to bring grave danger to the islanders while they attempt to save those on the doomed boat. Sixteen-year-old Sven is thrust to the fore-front of strategies and dangerous missions (lots of intense rock-climbing) since most of the men and boys on the island are away on a whale hunt. Heroism, teamwork and quick-thinking are essential to success...and even survival.

This thrilling adventure story will keep you on the edge of your seat and is recommended for ages 10 and up. I think some sensitive youngsters may find it too intense. It also provides a unique and memorable geography lesson!

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