Hogsty Reef

Category: Themes:
Jim, Julia, and Marcel get in over their heads when Jim and Marcel’s boat washes ashore on an island that’s abandoned…or is it?
Price: $5.95
  • ISBN: 9781561451876
  • Publication date: 04/01/1999
  • Page Count: 187
  • Size: 5" x 7-1/8"
  • Age Range: 12-16


Jim, Julia, and Marcel get in over their heads when Jim and Marcel’s boat washes ashore on an island that’s abandoned…or is it?

Teenagers Jim and Julia don’t know they are in for the adventure of a lifetime as they travel to Turks and Caicos to help Julia’s father survey the endangered coral reefs. Their explorations lead them to North Caico Island where they discover and befriend Marcel, a young Haitian refugee.

While the friends are fishing off the island’s reef one day, a fierce storm blows in and takes Jim and Marcel on a treacherous three-day voyage out to sea. As their food and water run out, the teenagers spot a barren island—Hogsty Reef—with a grounded tanker rusting off shore, where they seek shelter.

While searching for food, Jim and Marcel discover that Hogsty Reef is actually not abandoned, but a hideaway for drug dealers and their illegal drug money. While Julia works tirelessly to rescue Jim and Marcel, the boys must find a way to escape without alerting the drug runners, and survive the many dangers of Hogsty Reef in this suspenseful ecological adventure story.


John Dowd


John Dowd is a true adventurer, as well as a writer and photojournalist. He has worked as a seaman on a Danish freighter out of Libya; taught at New Zealand’s Anakiwa Outward Bound School; paddled from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt in Chile on assignment for National Geographic; and established himself in the Guinness Book of World Records by leading a 3600 kilometer kayak expedition from Venezuela to Miami along the Caribbean island chain. He is the author of Hogsty Reef and Rare and Endangered. He lives in Canada.


“This interesting, well-written story becomes exciting with elements of adventure and suspense… Readers who enjoyed Theodore Taylor’s The Cay will like this contemporary island tale.” ―VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

“Jim has the adventure of his life when he becomes stranded with a young Haitian refugee on Hogsty Reef, a small island. Unfortunately for the boys the island has other visitors, who are engaged in an illegal drug trade. This story has many facets to it: danger, adventure, family issues, relationships, ecological concerns, political problems, survival, drug wars, and governmental concerns. It will appeal to young readers of both sexes.” ―Kliatt

“There is lots of action, an exotic location, and the thrill of underlying danger. Young adults will enjoy Jim’s hair raising adventures and learn quite a lot about reefs.” ―Bookselling This Week


ABA Pick of the Lists ―American Booksellers Association, 1999


Resources: Teacher's Guide

Teacher’s Guide

More Details

AR Level: 6.4
Gr 6
Lexile: 970L
Themes: Adventure, Conservation, Survival, Travel, Nature
BISAC 1: YAF001020 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
BISAC 2: YAF043010 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Nature & the Natural World / Environment

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