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Whalebone: four sail to adventure

Book Review
Author Michael Wilson reads from Adventure on Whalebone Island to students from the Davis Bay Elementary outdoor school on Mission Point beach.

A newly-minted author from Gibsons, Michael A. Wilson, has recently published a lively tale for kids aged eight to 12, Adventure on Whalebone Island. The book follows classic children’s adventure story lines: Ryan and Kendra arrive for a summer holiday with their aunt and uncle in Maple Harbour, a coastal town not unlike Gibsons, and they are looking forward to playing with their cousins, Claire and Nathan. Claire, the oldest, has learned to sail and she quickly encourages the others to go out in her small boat to explore islands and hunt for sunken treasure.

When the four kids and the dog, Meg, camp overnight without a parent on a mysterious island, they encounter some very grown up skulduggery, and they must rely on their wits and courage to save a bad situation.

 “As a child, I spent many a night secretly reading adventure stories by Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransom, Troy Nesbitt and The Hardy Boys,” says author Wilson. “When my own daughter came of age, I wanted to write a similar style book set on the Sunshine Coast.”

The first thing that parents and kids will notice about the adventures of the Whalebone four is that all their feats are accomplished without benefit of technology. There are no cell phones in their pockets and no GPS used on the sailboat, though they do use the library’s computers for research about shipwrecks. It’s annoying at first. The reader might think: “They’re in trouble. Why don’t they just call 911?” But after the initial reaction, it’s really rather refreshing. How did kids survive before the age of devices? Like this.

This is a fun book for children under 12, plus they will learn a bit about sailing. When not writing, Wilson likes to sail his Flying Junior in the waters of Howe Sound.

The book for $7.99 has a colour cover and black and white illustrations throughout by Vadym Prokhorenko. Adventure on Whalebone Island is available from Talewind Books in Sechelt and To learn more see