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Five Dutch runaways try to survive on a small island in the Pacific.

An year later only the youngest of them, Roemer, fourteen years old, is still alive.

This is the theme of this new historic youth novel by award-winning author Rob Ruggenberg.

Based on true events Shark Island tells the fascinating story of the love of Roemer for Nu’i, the only girl of his age on the island.

The five Dutchmen sailed aboard the three ships of Jacob Roggeveen, who in 1721 set out to find the unknown and mysterious Southland.

One of the ships wrecks on the reefs of Takapoto, a small beautiful atol, where only women seem to live. When the fleet sails on, five runaways stay behind.

In the lagoon the sailors discover black pearls. They will be rich - if only they can find a ship to bring them home.

But Takapoto is very dangerous, and not only because of the numerous reef sharks that inhabit the lagoon...

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ABOUT THE BOOK: The story of the shipwreck of Roggeveen's ship on Takapoto is wellknown.

But no one knew what really happened to the five runaways.

In dusty archives, and in correspondence with the Australian language expert dr Jan Tent, the author discovered a lot about their fate.

Ruggenberg also lived for some time on Takapoto to become familiar with the island, the lagoon and the setting where the story unfolds.

Friendly islanders - adults and children - helped him to discover the remnants of the old Dutch presence.

All these findings he used to sketch a compelling picture of a small Polynesian island society in the 18th century, and of the bizarre role the five Dutch runaways played here.

The tale of the love of Roemer and Nu’i is a story you will never forget.

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Haaieneiland is Ruggenberg’s sixth historic youth novel. Ruggenberg is a two times winner of the Dutch Flag & Ribbon literary award. His fourth book IJsbarbaar (Ice Barbarian) also won the Prize of the Young Jury 2013 for best youth book of the year.

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Haaieneiland was written for boys and girls 10-15 years old. Publisher: Querido Stuur  een e-mail Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2013.

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