Intruders on Battleship Island


Jerrye Sumrall

ISBN  Paperback ISBN: 1-4140-3297-8           &              E-book ISBN: 1-4140-3298-6 
Publisher 1stBooks
Website http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/18896
Genre Children/ Middle-Grade Mystery/Adventure
Price US$12.50 for Paperback       &       US$ 3.95  for E-Book
Sample Chapters or Preview Available from Website
Number of Pages 166 pages
Purchase Info http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/18896        &         http://www.amazon.com

Intruders on Battleship Island is the first book in Jerrye Sumrall's upcoming series, The Bayshore Mysteries. In the first book, Jeff Douglas and his pals are plunged into a series of scary adventures as they discover the real truth about Battleship Island. An old shack with a secret underground room, hidden treasures, a spooky house, dangerous thieves, and several narrow escapes, reveal the island's secret past, and teach the boys a valuable lesson in friendship, courage and determination. Be sure to watch for the second book in the series, The Secret Graveyard. To learn more about Jerrye and the books in her upcoming series, please visit her web site at  http://jerrye3.homestead.com/homepage.html

Review by Shanti Gopalan

Reading is the most special of therapies for ending a tension-filled day. As I picked up Jerrye Sumrall’s ‘INTRUDERS ON BATTLESHIP ISLAND’, and settled on a comfortable chair, I had not planned to spend three full hours of reading. But that is what I did! As I read through the pages - savoring the build-up, lingering over the absorbing conversations, fashioning a detailed mental picture of each scene, and racing from page to page, eager to know what came next, all through to the thrilling climax, I lost myself in the author’s world. I LIVED her book, though it was a book written for children, when I finally put it down, my mind was totally refreshed. I knew that I would like to read it again, slowly this time, recreate and relive the mystery with the kids. 

INTRUDERS ON BATTLESHIP ISLAND is a wholesome, healthy, crisp and delightful book for children, lured as they are with more of visual delights, and read only as a necessity. This book is to entice them to get the ‘feel’ of reading themselves into another world, luxuriate in the ‘living experience’ they get from a book. They will be surprised that deep into the book, they can hear the ‘white caps rippling’, see ‘the gulls swooping down’, feel the ‘dead oak tree with branches like bony fingers hang over its rusted tin roof’. The author subtly highlights Jeff’s love for adventure, Mike’s sense of responsibility, Dan’s reasoning and Stanley’s deep knowledge, their reactions and petty quarrels but always with a sense of fairness, thereby lending an authenticity to the characters of children with a grown up air. The last chapter is a build up towards a thrilling climax, and our hearts beat with them in every turn! The historic background lends a heroic backdrop to the book- the Confederates and the Union soldiers facing each other, those brave but desperate men, waiting to fight till the end- drowned in time. 

INTRUDERS ON BATTLESHIP ISLAND recreates the ‘Enid Blyton’ magic by involving the young readers into the simple, yet charmingly interwoven plot, making them yearn to become one of the characters- a detective of the ‘Bayshore detectives club’, and to read & savor many more such mysteries from the author’s pen!!.

Review by Jan Osmon

Jerrye Sumrall’s debut novel Intruders on Battleship Island is a charming tale replete with mystery, history and fun. It is a perfect example of how a reader can enjoy a book and learn something valuable at the same time. This is timeless story of friendship and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds which can engross children as young as eight years old. The great part is that Ms. Sumrall has a whole series planned!!

Newspaper Review

Explore deserted island with ‘detectives'

By Joan Martin,  Baytown Sun Newspaper

Published April 04, 2004

Sumrall, Jerrye. “Intruders on Battleship Island.” Illustrated by Joan Betancourt. 1st Books. Bloomington, UN 2004. Paperback 166 pages. ISBN 1-4140-3297-8.

Jeff’s summer on the beach of Mullet Point is shaping up to be a disaster. He has almost failed fifth grade and his least favorite cousin, Stanley, is coming to spend six weeks. Stanley is an avid reader and loves spouting facts he has gleaned from his reading and his brainy vocabulary that keeps everyone asking, “Huh?”

The only bright spot for Jeff is that he has seen strange lights flickering on the deserted Battleship Island. His friends, Dan and Mike, want to go with him to investigate, but how will they get away from the obnoxious Stanley?

Jeff’s ploy is to send Stanley to the library to do research. While he is at the library, the three boys take a motorboat over to the island. They discover an old shack that has obviously been occupied recently. When a sudden thunderstorm blows in, their parents are so worried, they consider putting the island off- limits.

Stanley wants to join the boys in their detectives’ club, but they devise a difficult initiation test, hoping he won’t qualify. All four boys continue to place themselves in dangerous situations. Sumrall writes the scenes with the kind of suspenseful tension that will keep young readers turning the page.

Sumrall has contributed to the factual atmosphere of the book with historical notes. She gives the background for Admiral Farragut’s famous, ‘Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.”

The island described is in the upper area of Mobile Bay and figured prominently in Civil War battles. The boys discover worn and frayed journals hidden in a trunk in the old shack.

Sumrall quotes from authentic passages taken from the diaries of two officers who fought in the Battle of Mabile Bay. She offers Web sites for young readers to allow them to access actual events.

Rarely does an author of children’s books use both secondary and primary sources to confirm reliable information. In her historical fiction, she has wedded factual content to imagination and written a fast read.

Joan Betancourt’s cover for the book is haunting and ghostly. It sets the mood of a wooded island with giant trees hanging with Spanish moss. Both the author and illustrator evoke a strong sense of place through exciting incidents and an eerie cover.

Intruders on Battleship Island” is the first book in The Bayshore Mysteries. “The Secret Graveyard” will be the second book in the series.

JoAn Martin reviews children’s books for The Baytown Sun. She is a retired teacher. She may be reached at josbook@mindspring.com.


Amazon Reviewer: Peggy Tibbetts from Silt, CO, USA Good adventure book for boys:  The Bayshore Detectives are hot on the trail of the two mysterious men sneaking around on Battleship Island. Could they be searching for hidden treasure? And how is it all connected to the old Merritt house? Civil War history comes alive as Jeff, Dan, Mike, and Stanley solve the mystery of the secret room on Battleship Island. Intruders on Battleship Island is a good adventure book for boys.
Review on the Reading Tub



Summary: School's out. Jeff, Mike and Dan are ready to leave homework behind and use their detective skills to find out what two mysterious men are doing on Battleship Island. The only thing slowing them down is Stanley, Jeff's cousin who is visiting for the summer. This is a fictional story with a sense of Civil War history that takes place on an island in Mobile Bay.

Pros: The story moves forward smartly, with just enough twists to keep you reading, but no so many that you have lots of loose ends at its close.

Cons: None, really. But what was that light at the Old Merritt House?

Borrow or Buy: Buy. The story reads like the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys books we read as kids…over and over, even after we knew the ending.

Big Kid Reaction: This one will take you back to the days when you wanted to be a junior detective. It's fun and reminds you of the things you did (or wanted to do) on your summer vacation.

Little Kid Reaction: waiting on review …. School's out for the summer.

Reviewer: Lloyd C. Albritton "Southern Boy" (Denver, CO)

As a 57-year-old man who grew up near Mobile, Alabama, I read this book more out of curiosity than anything else, but found myself very much caught up in the story. The boyish antics and adventuresome spirit of the adolescents in this story made me feel happy as I reminisced about similar adventures of my own as a boy. Jerrye Sumrall has captured the essence of happy kids making the most of a summer out of school. The characters, the setting, the whole dynamic of the story rang true. I caught myself smiling and thoroughly entertained throughout the read.

Reviewer: ReadingTubReviews "Terry" (Alexandria, VA 22003)

This book will take you back to the days when you wanted to be a junior detective. It's fun and reminds you of the things you did (or wanted to do) on your summer vacation. The story moves forward smartly, with just enough twists to keep you reading, but not so many that you have lots of loose ends at its close. Even pre-teens will recognize the message that you need to be careful when you judge someone: you might be wrong. It's a nice story of friendship and respect. We loved it at the Reading Tub, http://www.thereadingtub.com

Reviewer: Kelli Wolfe "maggiestraight" (tuscaloosa, al)
*** I loved it!!!!!!, What a great book from a great new author!!!! I can't wait for the rest of the series!!!