Living out many a young person's fantasy (and a few mommies out there, too), preteen Nim Rusoe (played with spark and emotion by Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin) occupies a tropic island with her scientist father, Jack (the yummy Gerard Butler), and assorted domesticated beach/forest/sea animals such as lizards, pelicans, and seals, but no monkeys--nor anyone else, since her beloved mother died at sea. Connected to the rest of the world by the internet and delivered packages filled with necessities, including the latest Alex Rover adventure books, the two are less The Ballad of Jack and Rose and more Robinson Crusoe with their tree house (decorated with Coach pillows?), beach playground, and Jack's single-minded pursuit of a new something-zoa--which he sets off on a boat to secure a sample of when he's caught in a storm. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the agoraphobic author of the Rover books, Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster, using more physicality than she's displayed in years), e-mails Jack for research help, which sends the independent Nim on more adventures than the little spitfire can handle, including volcano diving, and pushes Alexandra out of her seclusion with help from Alex Rover himself (Butler), who comes to "life" and eggs her on to be a hero of her own life story. Nim's Island is great fun and, like the very best books for preteens, it never allows the story to veer too far from the girl hero.