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#2 New York Times Bestseller
Junior Library Guild Selection
Amazon #1 New Release/Bestseller
Amazon Editors' Pick Best Books Ages 9-12

From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe comes a beautiful story of friendship, loss, and the healing power of nature in her first book for middle grade readers.

Mary Alice Monroe’s novel “The Islanders” has garnered widespread popularity, resonating not only with avid readers but also with enthusiasts of call of duty esports betting. The captivating narrative of the book intertwines seamlessly with the adrenaline-fueled world of competitive gaming, drawing in a diverse audience eager to immerse themselves in both literary and virtual adventures. As fans eagerly await the outcomes of their favorite esports tournaments while engaging in call of duty esports betting, they find solace and entertainment within the pages of Monroe’s work, enriching their experiences beyond the realm of gaming. This unique intersection of literature and esports betting reflects the evolving landscape of entertainment, where diverse interests converge to create a vibrant cultural tapestry.

Eleven-year-old Jake’s life has just turned upside-down. His father has been wounded in Afghanistan, and his mother is going to leave to care for him. That means Jake’s spending the summer on tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother. The island is a nature sanctuary—no cars or paved roads, no stores or restaurants. To make matters worse, Jake’s grandmother doesn’t believe in cable or the internet. Which means Jake has no cell phone, no video games…and no friends.

He’s barely on land before he meets and befriends two other kids—Macon, another “summer kid” and Lovie, who lives nearby and shows both Jake and Macon the ropes of life on the island. All three are struggling with their own family issues, and the three quickly bond, going on adventures all over Dewees Island.

But their fun stops after one misadventure on an abandoned boat leads to community service. Their punishment? Mandatory turtle duty as a part of Team Turtle, where they must do a daily dawn beach patrol checking for loggerhead sea turtle tracks and to keep an eye on the nest. And when the nest becomes endangered, the three friends must find a way to protect it.

Can they save the turtle nest from predators? And can Jake’s growing love for the island and its inhabitants (be they two-legged, four-legged, feathered, or finned) help to heal his father?

Be sure to check out the second book in The Islanders  series, Search for Treasure. 




Be sure to check out the third and final book in The Islanders  series, Shipwrecked.






  • #2 New York Times Best Seller
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Amazon #1 New Release/Bestseller
  • 2023-2024 SC Children’s Book Award nominee
  • 2023-2024 Triple Crown Awards nominee (TX)
  • 2022 – 2023 Horned Toad Tale Award List (TX)
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Junior Title
  • Club Tome Society ‘It List’ Nominee
  • Amazon Editors’ Pick “Best Books for Ages 9-12”




  • #3 New York Times Best Seller
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
  • Amazon #1 New Release
  • Kids’ Indie Next Pick (July/August 2022)


“This is storytelling for young readers at its finest–Equal parts summer adventure and environmental suspense, The Islanders is a middle-grade love letter to family, friendship, and the natural world.”
– Kwame Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The Crossover

“I loved running around the woods as a kid, and playing in the pluff mud in Dewees’ creeks! It was just the escape I needed. Monroe and May did such a wonderful job of evoking the feeling of a childhood summer, and more specifically, of a childhood Lowcountry summer.”
– Ryan Graudin, award-winning author of The World Between Blinks

“A tender, warmhearted tale in a memorable setting.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“Monroe makes her middle grade debut with this comforting beach read about the healing power of friendship and nature.”
– Publishers Weekly

“…a perfect summer adventure to dive into.”
-Bookworm for Kids

“I enjoyed it immensely! The sweet story of loss, courage, and friendship that grows between strangers during an unplanned summer on a private island is the kind of story young people today need to read and will enjoy and learn as they do. The sea turtle education that is deftly slipped into the plot is the icing on the cake!”
-Diane Robinson, Eagle Eye Bookshop (Decatur, GA)

“The Islanders is a triumph! Mary Alice and Angela have written a thrilling young reader’s summer vacation story that authentically explores the magic found in nature, friendships, and family… Highly recommended for adults too.”
-Ron Block, Cuyahoga County Public Library (Cuyahoga, OH)

“lt’s unusual for me to blog about a children’s book. So you have to know how very special THE ISLANDERS is. It’s written with middle school readers in mind. But it’s really for everyone who loves a good story with lots of heart.”
-Jean Lewis, Book Reviewer (Maurice on Books)

“The Islanders is the next generation of that beloved classic [The Swiss Family Robinson], bringing the reader into today’s world with diversity, conservation, and the need for some unplugging.  The Islanders is pure magic!
-Karen Schumann, RJ Julia Booksellers

Pre-order Giveaway!

Anyone who preorders a copy of The Islanders can receive a special thank you gift, while supplies last.

To redeem your goodies, save your receipt or order confirmation number, and then fill out the book preorder giveaway form.