|Nim's Island (Allen and Unwin, 1999)|
But first to the plot ...Nim is a young girl who lives with her father on a remote island somewhere in the sea...the location isn't important but it's enough to know that a tourist ship and a cargo ship are within reach occassionally. Nim's Dad has to leave Nim alone on the island for a few days but a mishap at sea during a storm means that he is delayed. Nim is fine with fending for herself but when she gets sick and the bad guys (tourists) threaten her turf, Nim has to resort to drastic measures.
Throughout the book she corresponds with an adventure author, Alex (who's not so adventurous) and eventually they manage to meet one another. The story works due to the email, solar panel, techno twist, otherwise Nim relies on the abilities of her animal companions who are very nifty in an emergency.
This is a great adventure for younger readers. It is now also a movie, but I haven't seen it yet. Maybe I'll hire it out over Christmas and let you know if it matches up to the book.