Maria’s Island

The absorbing story of the Cretan village of Plaka and the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga – Greece’s former leprosy colony – is told to us by Maria Petrakis, one of the children in the original version of “The Island”.

Maria tells us of the ancient and misunderstood disease of leprosy, exploring the themes of stigma, shame and the treatment of those who are different, which are as relevant for children as adults. Gill Smith’s rich, full-colour illustrations will transport the reader to the timeless and beautiful Greek landscape and Mediterranean seascape.


The tale is narrated by Maria, one of the children in Hislop’s novel The Island, from which this engrossing yarn is skillfully adapted for younger readers.
― The Daily Telegraph

I loved this book because it was so interesting to learn about the disease, but also to realise that if you are courageous like Maria even illness does not have to hold you back.
― Books Up North

I adored this book. It is a real treasure. But please, have the box of tissues to hand. There will be tears, both of sadness and joy.
― Fallen Star Stories

I picked this book up as soon as it arrived and couldn’t put it down. My favourite things were the Greek setting and the history in the story, and I loved that the character was called Anna – best name ever! I didn’t know much about this story before I read it and enjoyed finding out about the adventures. I would recommend it to my friends. I liked the illustrations too.
— Anna, Age 11 ― Toppsta

“…a powerful story about love, stigma and hope.”
– Mini Travellers

Victoria introduces Maria’s Island

Bookshop displays for Maria’s Island