Milton P. Greene isn’t having the best year. In fact he calls it the “Most Totally, Terribly, Horrible, Heinously Rotten Year of All Time.”

His one best friend is no longer his best friend, especially after the embarrassing Bird Brain incident. Milton’s parents have decided to divorce, and now Mom and Dad are sending him off to live with Uncle Evan on Lone Island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for the summer months.

Milton isn’t so sure this is a great idea to be dumped into the care of his Uncle who is a nature researcher on the island. He once wanted to visit but that was back when Milton was going through his nature phase. Now all he cares about is playing his Isle of Wild hand-held video game.

The third person narration spreads out over 70 short chapters. Milton’s quirky vocabulary and personal fears play into every step of the journey. On the island he meets the only other kids—2 brothers and a girl. They don’t start out as friends but soon things begin to change after Milton finds a Lone Island Field Guide written my Dr. Ada Paradis who passed away some time ago and left the guide for someone to find. It contains the island’s enchanted secrets.

It was fun to follow Milton’s growth as he tries to understand and face his fears. The island is in danger of being sold to developers and saving the resources and unique animals are his top priority. The heartfelt ending leaves Milton in tears but you’ll be glad to have spent time with him. Great for nature lovers and those who love a good friendship story.



  1. The Lone Island Field Guide is available in the back pages. Consider reading it first as you will be introduced to the many magical creatures contained in the story.
  2. The other kid characters were unique in their own way. You’ll laugh at the childish antics of Gabe, his more serious older brother, Rafi, and Fig the most endearing of the three.
  3. The setting is the perfect one to provide personal growth for Milton and others. Hidden truths are revealed and ones none of them thought they’d ever have to say out loud.
  4. The environmental elements help readers compare the fictional plight to the real world.
  5. The real strength lies in the friendships, family divorce, and the emotions surfacing at each turn.


At age six, Jess Redman published a poem in a local anthology. The first line was, “I read and read and read all day.” She knew then, reading her printed words in a real book, that she wanted to be an author when she grew up.

She spent the next couple of decades doing things like surviving middle school, traveling around the world, becoming a therapist, and having two kids. She wrote the whole time.

Then one day, she realized that she was probably an official grown up and it was time to try to get some more of her words printed in real books.

Her debut middle-grade novel, THE MIRACULOUS, was published by FSG/Macmillan on July 30, 2019. Her second middle-grade novel, QUINTESSENCE, was published on July 28, 2020, and her third, THE ADVENTURE IS NOW, will be out in May 2021.

She still reads and reads and reads all day.

See more on Jess’s website including THE ADVENTURE IS NOW resource/teaching guide.

(I received an ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinions.)

Comments are welcome below and be sure to visit all the other blogger’s participating in this week’s MMGM.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Danielle Hammelef says:

    This book sounds fun to read! Thanks for the great review!

  2. I hadn’t heard of this one before but it sounds great. I like the setting for the story. Thanks for putting it on my radar. 🙂

  3. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like a great read! The author’s name sounded familiar, so I looked her up, and she has had some other books that have gotten a lot of praise! Also, I have no clue how she has managed to debut a book a year for three years in a row. It’s fun that the Field Guide is included in the back! Thanks so much for the great review!

  4. A place called Lone Island? A field guide that includes magical creatures? I’m intrigued.

  5. This really sounds like a great summer read. A great story, setting and characters! Love the field guide. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve been intrigued by this one. Thanks for the tip to read the guide first.

  7. Love this cover! And the description sounds intriguing as well.

  8. This sounds like it should be a lot of fun. I love the cover. I will be looking for this one. Thanks for your review. I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend.

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