The seas rise to drown the Earth, leaving inland cities as islands, the remaining humans desperate to survive. Everyone knows that X Isle is the best place to be, where the salvage divers bring up food and supplies from sunken shops and stores.
The Ecks family trades salvaged canned goods to the mainlanders for fuel, sometimes taking a lucky boy to work with them, if his parents have something special to send along with him, and he’s small and strong. A boy who’s too big to feed is sent back from the island, of course.
This day, both Baz and Ray are chosen to go to X Isle, where Preacher John prays for the survival of humanity. They’re sure that there must be many, many boys working there, but are surprised to find only eight and are shocked to find out what they must really do.
When they learn that no one makes it off X Isle alive, the boys all decide that they must invent a weapon to free themselves, using their best resource – methane gas from farts. But will they really be willing to destroy their captors? Can they be as brutal as their guards and the Ecks brothers and the increasingly crazy Pastor John?
Recommended by Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA