Frank and Dorothy Warren have come with their mother to spend the summer in a rented house on Brigantine Island, just north of Atlantic City on the New Jersey coast. They soon meet Mr. Charleston, a friendly young man living in a self-built shack on the bay shore, where he makes a living fishing from his boat. Soon they’ve also met a local boy, Pug, who teaches them how to fish and gather clams, and Mr. Charleston helps them build a sturdy raft from driftwood that he ties to his dock so they can play and fish on it. One day, tired of being in the same place, Mr. Charleston tows the raft and the children to a new mooring further out in the bay before he goes out fishing. Unfortunately the stakes he moored them to come loose, and before they know it, the three children are swept by the tide out into the ocean. A thick fog comes up, keeping anyone from seeing their plight, and eventually they land on a small, rocky island miles from the coast. While Mr. Charleston and the parents are frantically searching for them, the three castaways get by on their deserted island, finding enough to eat, and sleeping in a cave, but then something ominous is noticed. The island is getting smaller! It’s gradually sinking into the ocean. Can the children be found in time? And what unusual secret does the cave hold for them?
This is an exciting read if you’re willing to overlook a few things. For instance, there are no rocky islands off the New Jersey coast, sinking or otherwise. Also, the author doesn’t understand that tides affect all land, including small islands. As a child, I didn’t notice any of that and enjoyed the adventure. Mildly recommended.