Born with a serious heart condition, Dara has been waiting for his Big Operation forever, and this summer it’s finally going to happen. The moment his heart is fixed he’ll row out to the island in the bay all by himself just like he’s always dreamed. But when his operation is postponed, Dara snaps. When will he get to live his real life? Maybe the adventures he dreams of are just silly fantasies.
And then he finds a girl hiding in the boat shed. She wears animal skins. She has a real live pet wolf. She is, simply, impossible. Could Mothgirl really be from the Stone Age? And what is she seeking on Lathrin Island? As Dara and Mothgirl set out on a wild, windswept sea journey Dara begins to realise that when you stop worrying about what’s impossible, you can do anything.
Sophie Kirtley is an Irish prize-winnning poet and children’s author. The Way to Impossible Island is the sequel to Kirtley’s debut novel, The Wild Way Home. While the latter focuses on Charlie and Hart, this novel puts the spotlight on their younger siblings.
The Way to Impossible Island cleverly crosses time and myths. It’s original and full of heart. The story is well-paced building up to a dramatic climax that had me wishing for more yet feeling satisfied. I was struck by how well I could relate to both Dara and Mothgirl on an individual level, despite Mothgirl being from the Stone Age—the path to discovery is timeless.
The Way to Impossible Island felt like an ode to the natural world. Kirtley’s lyrical and descriptive writing allows you to vividly envisage the world she creates. The ease of reading this novel is the ideal gateway to introduce readers aged 10+ to pivotal themes of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-empowerment; it taught me that being happy with yourself is the greatest outcome there is.
The Way to Impossible Island is brave and life-affirming. Get ready to go from laughter to tears and back again on this middle-grade timeslip adventure about finding your family and finding yourself.