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Elastic Island Adventures: Jewel Lagoon is the first in an exciting series, a fantasy action-adventure set in the South Pacific. Four Children, Kiri, Jed, and the twins Emma and Ethan, discover an 'elastic' Island that can send them pinging across the ocean to a variety of tropical island destinations. Landing at Jewel lagoon on Trinity Island, the children quickly find themselves in trouble.

But even with help from the colourful creatures they meet - Pangali the Platypus, Olaf the Giant, and Big Wig and Wee Wig Knockulous - will they be able to return home safely?

Suitable for children 7 - 12 years


'A fast-paced, original story aimed at readers eight to 12.' North & South Magazine

'The book is aimed at younger independent readers, aged between eight and 12-years-old, it's an action packed and fast paced read. McMillan has pitched to the age perfectly, making it easy but not simple or boring for younger readers. Rich language, especially adverbs, will also help inspire and delight those tackling the book on their own. However, it is a wonderful read aloud story as well, with plenty of voice and delightful characters to animate, expanding the audience further.

Jewel Lagoon will inspire the next generation of Kiwi writers, while also appealing to those readers who start to lose momentum around that age, the so called 'reluctant' reader. It's a fast paced, exciting, and original story that keeps you entertained from the beginning to the very end.' NZ Booklovers

'An enjoyable and entertaining runaway adventure for children with a cast of colourful characters, including four children transported by an elastic island to a kingdom in trouble. I was hooked from the beginning.' Terry Toner, Radio Southland.

'Jewel Lagoon may sound like a paradise but when the children are unexpectedly catapulted out of their ordinary lives they find themselves in mortal danger where they bounce from one dangerous situation to the next and are never quite sure who they can trust in this strange land. Some of the themes are dark (kidnapping, maiming, and murder) but they are handled with sensitivity. 
    The story is wildly creative and populated with an array of vibrant characters, including adaptations of animals many children will recognise. The four main characters: Kiri, Jed, and twins Emma, and Ethan, have distinct personalities and varying skill sets which help them navigate through the challenges they face on their adventure.
​    Children will identify with particular characters as they find common denominators with their own lives.
    The story works as a stand-alone read and there’s plenty of scope for more tropical island adventures in this series.' Flaxflower

'I was hooked into this book from the very start - Miss Eight and I read it together and talked about it as we finished each chapter, something she loves doing. It is about the right level for her; the text is well constructed but not too difficult for a reader her age. And the story has all the elements that appeal to children with a sense of adventure: an island that doubles as a new means of transport, a group of children off on an amazing quest, "goodies" and "baddies", and a big problem that only these children are able to fix.

McMillan writes well; the story is exciting, fast moving, and extremely well crafted. It is refreshing to read a new book in the fantasy genre, and we both look forward to reading the second book in the series.'

Feedback from children:

'What I liked best about Elastic Island Adventures was how they can travel across the South Pacific and land in magical lands and meet lots of magical creatures along the way to save Jewel Lagoon from Chief Namba. My favourite characters were Jed because of his enthusiasm to help the twins and Kiri on getting the egg back, and Pangali the Platypus for his determination to help the children get the get the egg and get home.' Max Jones, age 10

My favourite character from Jewel Lagoon is Emma, because she is a lot like me. I am quite shy sometimes, and reading is one of my favourite things to do! She is also very nice and dreamy, and she likes school, which is good and different from most other characters from books I've read in the past! I really like that because she is positive about something most people groan about! I also like Kiri because she can say what she thinks, she's crazy and reminds me of my sister! You always want characters to remind you of close ones, especially those who have died (my sister isn't dead don't worry). I also like some of the crazier characters, like Mr Jellybowler and his grumpy parrot. I loved the activity of the play you did when you talked to my school as it was fun to watch. I am excited to read Book 2 because the Quokka Logic sounds funny! Maisie

I really liked the character Emma because I see myself a lot like her in having a love of books. She also seems like a very inspirational and compassionate person/character. I can also relate to her because I too have a love of finding out the meaning of dreams. Grace

‘My favourite character in Jewel Lagoon is Jed because he stood up to the bullies at the start of the book. I also like Jed because he tried to save Emma and Ethan when chief Namba was going to send them to the mines even though he didn’t know Emma and Ethan that well.’ Willow


‘My favourite character from Jewel lagoon is Mr Jollybower because he just seems like he is one of those people you love to hang out with. I love his personality and features, I love the way he dresses and his moustache and sideburns.’ Lexie


I like Emma because just like me she likes to read. I also like Ethan because he is funny and likes to build knew things and thinks outside the box! In elastic island I honestly enjoy everything Karen McMillan! Emily


My favourite character is Big Wig Knockulous because of how smart he is and how good he is at tracking and directing the children towards different places. I like the way you described what he looks like with his red hair, colour changing wings and his cute bow tie. I would love it if he was in your next book! Tiger

'My favourite character is Kiri because she is kind, caring,  perseveres, helpful and she cared for Emma when she got attached by the bats, helped Princess Makana break the curse ‘chief’ Namba put on her by finding the rainbow sparkling Jewel Egg. She also helped Pangali and Olaf find their family.’ Elissa

I like Emma because she is smart and loves reading books and I like reading books too. I really like the jewel lagoon book because its really interesting how they go from 1 island to another island by shooting from a palm tree. I can imagine myself clinging on a palm tree for dear life. I love how Emma is very brave and is able to help the team out and care for Ethan. She is also very kind and helps out anybody in need. Thank you for coming to Ironside State School to show us your AMAZING books. You are probably my favourite author that writes fiction books. I hope I win, and if I do please come back to Ironside State School so I can buy you AWESOME book three (Rainbow Cove I think it was). Bye Elastic Island GO! GO! GO! Elsa

I like Ethan because he is smart and sciency has loads of cool gadjets in this bag. Tom


Kiri is my favourite because she loves singing as much as I do and she just has a great personality like me! we kind of look the same too 😅 (by the way your books are soooo good written Karen) Hannah

My favourite character is Jed because he was the one who lead everyone to safety in Jewel Lagoon. Milla

'I like Kiri the best. She is brave and is pretty much a warrior She stands up for what she believes in.' Clara

'My favourite character is Kiri because she is brave and strong whenever her friends need help she trys her best to save them. I love it how she always figers out a way to solve a problem. By the way I think she looks dashing in her red t-shirt.' Tilly

'Kiri is my favourite character because she is adventurous and a bit of a tomboy. I like the part in the first book when she sings a Maori song because I come from New Zealand and I think it is quite cool how it first takes place in New Zealand.' RIver

'It was the best book ever! Please keep on writing more books. You're such a great writer!' Nathan 

Reading from Jewel Lagoon - Karen McMillan
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Elastic Island Adventures
Jewel Lagoon
Duckling Publishing, Available in paperback

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