by Tim Wynne-Jones
Magical realism with castaways and monsters during WWII
When Evan's dad dies suddenly he is left alone with his hateful grandfather he's never met. Among his father's things is a mysterious book--a book his grandfather doesn't want him to read. With Evan, we read the diary of stranded soldiers on an island filled with monsters and ghosts. The diarist is Japanese who is stranded with an American soldier. As Evan reads, he begins to understand where his grandfather is coming from, allowing him to reach out to his only family.
I've been a big fan of Tim Wynne-Jones for years and this is one of his best stories.