Despite being written in 1954, this book still conveys a timely message. The storyline revolves around a group of pre-teen boys in war-torn Europe who survive a plane crash on an island while being evacuated from their homes. The story follows the struggle for power between different groups within the larger group of survivors, each with vastly different priorities. The group shows various issues with a large group faced with a stressful situation, including paranoia, apathy and even violence and homicidal tendencies due to continually decreasing mental strength. At the end, however, due to a breakdown of the entire group, a fire that consumes most of the island leads to their rescue by a passing warship. The story clearly shows the potential weakness of the human mind.
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