This is a debut novel by Richard Levine. It explores the tragic events of two preteen kids….Ron AKA Runner Boy and long-legged D.C. Both kids have had horrible events happen in their life which has forces them to grow up faster than their twelve years. They meet at a party the summer before their 7th grade year, and immediately are drawn to each other through witty banter. Keep in mind this is all rate G. D.C. is a twelve-year old girl who towers over all at the party while wearing the brightest neon shirt in the room, but this does not deter her from being confident. She is comfortable in her own skin…a strong female character. Ron also exudes a calm confidence when he is not influence by the other boys’ taunts about D.C.
After the party, summer begins and tragedy hits both D.C. and Ron. The two meet again at the start of the school year and a natural and rare friendship begins. They join the Biology Club at school together, spend time with each other’s families, and begin to rely on each other. They seem to be wiser than the other kids in their school on some level.
Island Eyes, Island Skies is a book that has fun with language….lots of play on words and similes and metaphors. It will be a favorite of English teachers who can pull fun passages out of the text for some meaningful lessons on language. I also believe this book would be an asset for a young adult who has experienced death of a loved one. It is a heavy topic. Richard Levine has written of it in a way that kids can feel they are not alone. A tough topic to tackle.