In a palm tree, on an island, in the middle of the wide blue sea, was a girl.
That was what Nim called it, because soccer was the only ball game she'd ever seen a picture of -- and because nobody else has ever thought of a name for a game with a girl, a sea lion, a turtle, and an iguana all trying to be the first to get a floating coconut to shore.
Nim loved the ocean because it was always there, wherever she looked and as far as she could see, but it was too huge and powerful to understand and too dangerous to trust.
Nim's father goes on a three-day boat trip to study plankton and doesn't return for two weeks. Nim is left to fend for herself with only an iguana (Fred), a sea lion (Selkie), and a green sea turtle (Chica) to keep her company. She does have email and makes an email friend in Alex, a famous author. Alex and Nim exchange emails, but they both make assumptions that end up being false.
This is a cute story. Nim is a smart, resourceful, girl. I enjoyed reading how Nim interacted with her "friends" the iguana, sea lion, and sea turtle. I loved reading the exchanges between Nim and Alex and seeing how confused they both were about each other. We don't hear much about the Troppo Tourists, except that they were responsible for the loss of Nim's mother in an unusual way. And Nim and her father are desperate to keep the island hidden from them.
Young readers who enjoy adventure.