Nadia Aguiar Lost Island of Tamarind

ISBN 13: 9780141323862

Lost Island of Tamarind

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9780141323862: Lost Island of Tamarind

Three children. Alone on the ocean waves, after a fierce storm throws their parents from the Pamela Jane into the icy waters below. Maya, Simon and Penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a truly magical place ...Imagine an island with green mountains looming over pink sandy beaches and tide pools lit by the moon. An island with the darkest of secrets, where pirates lurk and jaguars roam - and a precious stone holds a power that is both wondrous and terrifying. This is where the children must go. No one from the Outside has escaped the island before. Danger is everywhere. But they can't turn back now. Could you? The first in a magical trilogy about the mysterious island of Tamarind. Narnia meets Neverland for a new generation! This magical adventure story is perfect for girls and boys aged 9-12. - A magical debut from a wonderful new writer. - Sleeping jaguars, menacing pirates, singing mermaids and a tropical island setting...

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About the Author:

Nadia Aguiar received a BA from McMaster University in Canada and an MFA from Columbia University in New York. She worked in publishing in New York City for a number of years, and has also lived in London, but currently she lives on her own sub-tropical island of Bermuda, where she was born and raised.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Maya’s Dilemma

Dolphins had been riding in the bow waves of the Pamela Jane all morning. They were plump and shiny and they played like children and spoke to each other in their strangely human language of squeaks and whistles. Usually Maya loved when dolphins swam with the boat, but today she barely noticed them. She was sitting on the bow, leaning against the cabin wall, out of sight of the main deck, which is where she went when she wanted to be alone. When she heard her mother calling her she frowned more deeply and tucked her legs up so that she couldn’t be seen.

"Maya!"

She didn’t answer.

The warm Atlantic rushed blue and strong over the hull of the Pamela Jane and stretched flatly to the horizon where white clouds bloomed. Maya’s parents had collected the last of the algae samples they needed early that morning and within a few hours they would be sailing into port at St. Alban’s, where they would drop off the samples at the Marine Station. Her mother’s voice grew muffled as she went into the cabin, and then her footsteps thumped on the steps as she came back on deck. Her shadow appeared over Maya a few moments later.

"Didn’t you hear me calling you?"

"Sorry," Maya said. She rested her chin on her knees and trained her gaze on the horizon. The boat rose and fell gently on the swells. Her mother refolded her scarf and tied it over her hair and sat down beside her.

"What is it?" she asked.

Maya felt tears rise to her eyes again but she blinked them away and glared out at the sea.

"You know what it is," she whispered. "I don’t want to live on the boat anymore."

Suddenly Maya felt more angry than sad. Frowning, she picked ruthlessly at a scab on her ankle. "Everyone’s always on top of me," she said. "I don’t have any privacy."

Her mother considered.

"It’s a big ocean," she said. "It’s lucky that we’re all together on it."

"I don’t want to be on the ocean," said Maya. "I want to be on land. I want to live at Granny Pearl’s and go to school. I want to be like everyone else. I want to know people my own age. I want friends."

Here Maya felt tears welling again.

"You have Simon."

Maya scowled. "He doesn’t count."

She picked at her ankle and didn’t look at her mother. It wasn’t Simon’s fault. He was perfectly happy. He was always sweet and cheerful and even if he was annoying sometimes, people always liked to have him around because he was so good- natured. Maya didn’t want to be so unpleasant all the time. She loved her family. It just seemed like she couldn’t help her bad mood these days. She felt her mother watching her.

The boat eased on the waves. A nurse shark that had been following the boat for a couple of days reappeared and Maya watched it, just a few feet below the surface off the lee of the boat. It must have scared off the dolphins and now the sea was quiet except for the sound of the water breaking against the Pamela Jane’s hull.

"I’ll talk to your father," her mother said finally. "Meanwhile, we’ll be in Bermuda in a week. Try to enjoy that thought, okay? We can talk about all this when we get there."She leaned forward onto one knee and kissed Maya’s head.

"It will all be all right," she said.

She left and Maya was by herself with the lonely clatter of the halyards on the mast.

Maya’s parents, marine biologists Marisol and Peter Nelson, had one quick stop to make at the Marine Station in St. Alban’s to drop off samples of sea creatures they had collected, and then they would be on their way for their summer visit to Granny Pearl in Bermuda.

Granny Pearl was Peter’s mother. She lived in a little blue cottage that faced out to sea. She had soft brown skin and gentle wrinkles. She smelled like warm soil and ginger and sundried laundry. Sugar snap peas grew in her garden, as well as cassava, parsley, and odd- shaped green squash. She kept a patch of milkweed for the monarch butterflies. She had a great love of bats and would often sit out on her porch on summer evenings, watching their soft black flickers across the heavy night sky. On the stone railing of her porch she kept a conch shell that she would lift to the children’s ears so that they could hear the soft sigh of the ocean inside the shell. Do you hear? she would whisper. When you’re out on the ocean, this is how I know where you are.

It was to the cove at Granny Pearl’s house that the Pamela Jane had first drifted, abandoned, back before Maya had even been born. Granny Pearl had looked out through the kitchen window and had seen the crewless schooner coming into the cove as if she knew exactly where she was going. She had been encrusted in strange, jewel-like barnacles, her sails had been ghostly tatters, and her cabin had been almost entirely empty, scoured bare by the wind and waves. When Maya’s parents plied the barnacles free from the wood, they found the boat’s name written on the bow: Pamela Jane. The only thing left in her cabin was a book with blank ivory pages and a red leather cover, which Maya’s parents found in a drawer sealed shut by humidity. They posted notices in shipping journals all over the world, but when no one had claimed the Pamela, the Nelsons had freshened her paint and refitted her sails and she had belonged to them ever since. They had even installed a very small laboratory in her cabin where they could store samples they took from the sea. Maya was thirteen and she had lived on the Pamela Jane her whole life, first with just her parents and then with her brother, Simon, who was nine now, and later their baby sister, Penny, who was eight months old. Their parents were marine biologists who worked for the Marine Stations. For a long time Maya had believed that there was nothing better than life on the open ocean, sailing from port to port on the warm trade winds that blew across the Atlantic Ocean.

She had seen silver- flippered seals that barked like happydogs, fleets of menacing purple Portuguese men- o’-war balloons blown along by northerly winds, and magnificent swordfish that leaped out of the sea and sailed clean over the deck of the Pamela Jane. Simon had once even touched the barnacled side of a whale. His father had lifted him over the edge of the starboard railing as the great gray flank surfaced and rolled back under. The creature’s unfathomable eye, big as an oil well, had looked right at Simon. Like most people who lived on the sea, they knew the map of the stars by heart and could navigate by them at night. Often Maya and her mother would lie on their backs on the deck under the big velvety sky, and her mother would point out the constellations: Andromeda, Lyra, Orion, and the most graceful of them all, Cassiopeia, her arms jointed like an insect’s against the night sky. On stormy nights they watched Saint Elmo’s fire dancing high on the mast, leaping between the lines.

Each year they followed the Gulf Stream from the coast of South America into the Caribbean and up to Bermuda and then back down again. The children’s parents tracked the breeding seasons of schools of parrot fish and amber jacks, recorded algae levels on the equator, studied the migration patterns of Capricorn whales, and many other mysterious things. They made stops at ports along the way. Each port was different. In Tulomso there were giant sea- pumpkins that grew along the beaches, in Port Cardina great albatrosses with snowy white beards nested in the cliffs, and in the waters around St. Malan’s glowworms rose to the surface in whirling lights on the third night after each full moon. Near Trinidad and Tobago were massive oil tankers whose horns had great deep bellows. They would call to each other as they passed in the shipping lanes. The Pamela Jane would chase playful schools of whales to farther Patagonia at the south of the continent, where Maya and Simon could see haunting white ice floes bobbing in the distance, vapors of steam dancing around them before they would turn, the Pamela Jane rushing back to warmer waters.

Since they were always moving from port to port, Maya and Simon didn’t go to school like most children did. But every morning their mother gave them lessons, on the deck when the weather was good, and down in the cabin when it was foul. The pages of their schoolbooks were damp and curled from the sea air. Maya had always been proud that she and Simon knew things that land children didn’t: how to tell the difference between a jack nose and a barracuda, how to tell how quickly a squall on the horizon would strike, if at all, and how to rig a fifty- two- foot schooner. They could read the machinery of the GPS, the boat’s navigation system, which told them what their latitude and longitude was, and the radar, which told them what vessels were near them, and if there was bad weather up ahead. They could each cook a meal on a gyroscopic stove in the galley, which was what the kitchen on a boat is called. Simon was an expert in knots and could tie fisherman’s bends, spider hitches, surgeon’s loops, and blood- knot line joiners, along with hundreds of others. He had read a book on it and now knew more knots than their father. There were even a few that he was sure he had invented himself.

But lately the magic had gone out of life on the sea for Maya. She didn’t know how it had happened, but sometime in the past year living on the Pamela Jane had become unbearable. The journeys between landfalls stretched out dully. Simon goon her nerves constantly. And even with her family around her, she found that sometimes she was so lonely she would cry by herself on her top bunk in the cabin. She longed to be in one place, in a proper house that wasn’t always floating from one place to the next, with a backyard instead of a deck and windows instead of portholes. She was tired of five of them being crammed into such a tiny space together, and it had only gotten worse since Penny had come along almost a year ago. Maya and Simon shared a narrow bunk bed in the room that doubled as the family’s living room, and Penny slept there, too, in a hanging cot in the middle of the room that swayed as the boat moved through the water and rocked her to sleep. Maya had no space to call her own. If she went up to the stern, someone was there, if she snuck back down into the cabin, someone undoubtedly would come barging through shouting, "Maya, Maya, where are you, Maya?"

Their stops in ports were no better. There were no other boat children her age. She was too old to play games on the dock with the little kids but too young to go to the cabanas along the beaches where calypso music played and local teenagers hung out. "Far too young," said her father. While her parents were busy at the Marine Station in each port, Maya could easily have disobeyed them and gone inside the cabanas, of course. And it wasn’t that she wouldn’t have disobeyed them—it was that she was too shy. She was scared that she’d go inside and have no one to talk to and everyone would see that she was there alone. That would have been mortifying—too mortifying to risk. Simon, if he’d had any interest, would have been able to walk right in and make friends with everyone there. Simon, their mother said, could talk the ear off a snail. Simon was the one people liked. Sometimes the Nelsons would cross paths with people they had met for just an afternoon two years ago, and the people would still remember a conversation they’d had with Simon. Their mother said he was special that way. But Simon didn’t care about the cabanas. He was still happy to run around on the beach and the docks and could spend hours talking to crusty old sailors or young biologists from the Marine Stations. Once these things had made Maya perfectly happy, too. But somehow, she didn’t know how or why or even when it had begun to happen, the joy was gone.

For months now she had been begging her parents to let her stay behind when they left this time. She had even written them letters: Dear Mami and Papi, I think the time has come for me to go to school like a normal person my age. I’m sure that Granny Pearl will be happy to have me live with her. . . .And finally, finally, they had relented, and said that they would talk with Granny Pearl when they reached Bermuda. But Maya was still nervous. If they didn’t sort everything out soon she would miss the start of the school year and she’d have to stay on the boat for another year. Another whole year—Maya couldn’t bear to think about it.

"Maya!"

Someone else, again! Maya felt a shadow fall across her again. Her family couldn’t give her any space—they even had to put their shadows on her! She opened her eyes and saw Simon standing over her.

"What?" she asked sharply.

"Papi’s going to tell me the story about the island," he said.

"If you want to come hear."

"That’s okay," Maya said. "Thanks. I’ll stay here."

"Later, do you want to play cards?"

"I don’t know," she said. "I’m busy thinking right now.

Sometimes I just need time to think. By myself."

"What are you thinking about?"

"About being somewhere where everyone can’t bother me every two minutes," Maya muttered.

"Later on, we could trade shells," offered Simon. "I could give you the milk moon snail of mine that you wanted. Or the red triton."

Maya sighed. Simon was nine. He was at that age when sometimes he acted grown- up and sometimes he was as irritating as a seven- year- old.

"I’m not talking anymore," said Maya, closing her eyes. "I’m just thinking."

"But . . ." began Simon.

"Shhh!" said Maya loudly. "Thinking!"

Simon lingered a minute more and then she heard him trudging back to the main deck. As soon as he was gone she felt a pang of remorse. It wasn’t Simon’s fault that things weren’t how they used to be. A moment later, her father’s voice drifted to her on the breeze.

"A long time ago, near the equator, there was a mysterious sea. Storms brewed around its edges and no boats could sail into it. In the middle of this sea was an island. Since no boats could reach it or leave from it, it was entirely cut off from the Outside World. Different life- forms sprang up and flourished. Fish the color of jewels flashed through the waters. There were villages built in the tops of ancient trees and mythical creatures and the strangest plants you’ve ever seen. It was an incredible place."

"And there was a giant," Simon interrupted.

"There were lots of giants," their father said.

"And they sang."

"Yes, all the giants were singers."

"What was the island called?" asked Simon.

"It had a lot of different names," said their father. "So I couldn’t really tell you for sure."

"And how big...

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Three children. Alone on the ocean waves, after a fierce storm throws their parents from the Pamela Jane into the icy waters below. Maya, Simon and Penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a truly magical place .Imagine an island with green mountains looming over pink sandy beaches and tide pools lit by the moon. An island with the darkest of secrets, where pirates lurk and jaguars roam - and a precious stone holds a power that is both wondrous and terrifying. This is where the children must go. No one from the Outside has escaped the island before. Danger is everywhere. But they can t turn back now. Could you? The first in a magical trilogy about the mysterious island of Tamarind. Narnia meets Neverland for a new generation! This magical adventure story is perfect for girls and boys aged 9-12. - A magical debut from a wonderful new writer. - Sleeping jaguars, menacing pirates, singing mermaids and a tropical island setting. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141323862

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Book Description Puffin. Book Condition: New. 2009. Paperback. Three children. Alone on the ocean waves, after a fierce storm throws their parents from the Pamela Jane into the icy waters below. Maya, Simon and Penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a truly magical place. Imagine an island with green mountains looming over pink sandy beaches and tide pools lit by the moon. Series: Tamarind. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: 5AK; YFC. Category: (JC) Children's (6-12). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 30. Weight in Grams: 316. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141323862

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Book Description Puffin, 2009. Book Condition: New. 2009. Paperback. Three children. Alone on the ocean waves, after a fierce storm throws their parents from the Pamela Jane into the icy waters below. Maya, Simon and Penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a truly magical place. Imagine an island with green mountains looming over pink sandy beaches and tide pools lit by the moon. Series: Tamarind. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: 5AK; YFC. Category: (JC) Children's (6-12). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 30. Weight in Grams: 316. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141323862

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Lost Island of Tamarind, Nadia Aguiar, Three children. Alone on the ocean waves, after a fierce storm throws their parents from the Pamela Jane into the icy waters below. Maya, Simon and Penny now face a wild rescue adventure that will lead them to a truly magical place.Imagine an island with green mountains looming over pink sandy beaches and tide pools lit by the moon. An island with the darkest of secrets, where pirates lurk and jaguars roam - and a precious stone holds a power that is both wondrous and terrifying. This is where the children must go. No one from the outside has escaped the island before. Danger is everywhere. But they can't turn back now. Could you?. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141323862

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