Daybreak on Raven Island

Viking. Aug. 2022. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593404638.
Gr 4-6–Seventh grade can be trying for any new teenager, but for Tori, who is white; Noah, who is Black; and Marvin, who is Korean American, surviving the year feels unlikely. The protagonists, along with a handful of other students, are on their way to Raven Island Prison—the first class to ever take a field trip there. The prison, reminiscent of Alcatraz, is rumored to be haunted, and ghosts have been sighted many times. Tori, Noah, and Marvin accidentally miss the ferry home and due to currents, they must wait until daybreak for another ferry to return for them. What ensues is a murder mystery that the three spend the night trying to solve. The island has many buildings, tunnels, and woods that are filled with ravens and ghosts galore, which add to the difficulty of deciphering the truth. No one is exempt from their suspect list. The mystery is written in third-person omniscient, and Bradley draws readers deep into questions of Raven Island in this suspenseful and sometimes scary narrative. Kids will keep turning the pages as they root for the three main characters on their quest for the truth.
VERDICT A howling and harrowing good read, perfect for fans who like to keep guessing right up to the very end. A recommended purchase for libraries who need more mystery-horror genre-blends.

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