Survival (Island Book 2)
From the book:
long, powerful strokes, Charla cut through the waves. Her wounded
wrist stung a little from the salt, but she was fine. Better than
fine. She was amazed at how quickly her training had asserted itself.
She could almost see the Olympic-sized pool at the Y. Breaststroke,
butterfly, backstroke, freestyle--how many lengths had she done in
that thing? A thousand? Ten thousand? At least. All of them timed by
her father and his ever-present stopwatch.
She tried to judge her present pace, deducting time for wave motion and current. A breaker caught her in the face and brought her back to reality. Was she crazy? What did it matter if this swim took three seconds or three hours? She was shipwrecked in a primitive wilderness. She might never again see civilization, much less any swim team. Only a fanatic would continue training now.
Abruptly, she stopped swimming and stood on the sandy bottom. She was a fanatic when it came to training. That was how she'd gotten herself booked on the Phoenix in the first place.
On shore she could see Luke and Ian hauling armloads of wood out of the jungle. She felt a twinge of guilt. She should be helping instead of practicing for an event that was never going to take place. The sooner they were finished, the sooner they could continue their search for poor Will.
Bright flashes of silver caught her eye, and she looked down into the waist-deep water. A school of foot long fish darted all around her. She experienced a moment of fear--were they piranhas?
She relaxed. Whatever they were, they seemed just curious, investigating a novel shape in their ocean.
The next thought to flash through her mind was: food. Her years of training had made a healthy eater of her. She'd always said that she could survive happily on nothing but fruit. But after only a couple of days, if she saw another banana or coconut, she was going to scream.
Could she catch a fish with her bare hands? Were these things even edible? Ian would probably know, but by the time she could ask him, the school would be long gone.
It was a cruel reality out here in nature, yet in a way it was very fair. No judges to appeal to, no instant replay. You make a mistake and your boat sinks, or your shelter burns down. If she was going to do this, she had to do it now, without thinking.
A lightning thrust. She stabbed at the water and came up with a wriggling silver body.
Thunderstruck and delighted by her catch, she uttered a piercing shriek and began wading ashore, juggling the fish. Startled by her scream, Luke and Ian raced across the sand to her side.
"What's the matter?" barked Luke.
"Lunch!" she crowed. "I caught lunch!"
"It's a small bonito," put in Ian. They looked blank so he added, "Very edible."
Lunch thrashed wildly.
"But it's not dead!" Luke protested.
"Well, make it dead!" she insisted.
Obediently, Luke reached out and slapped the fish over the head with his open hand. The bonito went on struggling.
"Here!" Ian held out a short stick, part of their construction material.
Luke grabbed it and took a swing just as Charla, shocked, pulled back her hands.
Lunch dropped to the wet sand. Before they could react, the bonito flipped its way into an oncoming wave and disappeared into the surf.
"You were supposed to hit the fish, not me!" Charla snapped.
"You moved!" Luke accused.
They stared at each other for a moment and then burst out laughing. Relieved, Ian joined in. As their merriment died down, they heard another sound. Not the usual island noises--insects and birds and the lapping of the waves. This was mechanical--the drone of motor and propellers.
Ian was the first to look up. "A plane!"
It appeared as a dot in the sky that grew bigger and better defined. It was a twin-engine seaplane. And there was no doubt about it--it was heading for their little island.
"They must have seen our fire!" cried Charla, excitement vibrating her thin frame.
Ian frowned. "You know, the chances that we were spotted within a day because of a small bonfire are a million to one. I don't understand how it could have happened."
Luke slapped him on the back. "It happened because we got lucky for a change!" he said, choking back tears of emotion. "We've got to find Will! Now we can get him to a doctor."
They ran along the shore, waving their arms and cheering.
The plane roared right over their heads and started across the island, its pontoons barely clearing the tops of the trees.
"Hey, where are they going?" cried Charla.
The aircraft disappeared over the jungle. The castaways waited for it to circle back for them, but it never did. Instead, they heard the engine power cut back, indicating descent. A few minutes later, the noise of the motor disappeared altogether.
Luke was dumbfounded. "Why would they land all the way over there?"
"They didn't see us," breathed Charla, devastated.
Ian thought it over. "Maybe they're not here for us. Maybe there's a village or outpost on the other side of the island."
"It's still good news," Luke decided. "We just have to get over there and ask them to give us a ride somewhere. Even if there's no room for us, at least we can get them to send help."
"What if we can't find them?" asked Charla.
Luke started out along the beach. "That plane landed in the water. If we follow the shore, we'll hit it sooner or later. Let's not waste any time."
Charla hurried after him.
"Wait," called Ian. He picked up the stick and wrote WE'RE ALIVE in the hard flat sand by the water's edge.
"Just in case they come looking for us while we're gone," he explained, rushing to catch up with the others.
Copyright © 2001 Gordon Korman, used by permission
The second volume in Gordon's Island trilogy, Survival shows us how the survivors of the Phoenix shipwreck manage to maintain life on the deserted island they've found themselves on. Finding food and water and making shelter and fire are surmountable challenges, but soon there will be others.
The cost they've already paid is high. The ship's captain who is dead at sea, the mate who took most of the supplies and deserted the sinking ship, and of the four who've made it safely to the Island, Will has lost his memory and considers the others to be his enemy. But things are bound to get worse when they discover the plane they'd hoped would be their salvation might be the worst danger they've had to face.
Part two of this adventure series is another exciting read, and part three will be released next month, so snap them up quickly, and encourage Gordon to write a few more adventures to go along with his comedy!
If you are at all interested in Gordon's writing, give these titles a try and see what you think of them. And if you want even further information, check out Scholastic's web site for even more information at: www.scholastic.com/titles/island