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Do you remember that old book Lord of the Flies. Group of boys stranded on an island and what happened with them? Well, Where the World Ends reminded me of that book, but unlike Lord of the Flies, I was intrigued and curious.. rather hating my entire time reading it. 🙂 I’ll take intrigue over hate any day you know? This is my review.
What I am Reviewing
Where the World Ends.
Michael L. Printz Medalist.
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
336 pages. 12-18 years. Trade paperback.
fiction, middle school, young adult, history, based on true-life, Scotland
Every time a lad went fowling on the stacs, he came home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is.
Every summer Quill and his friends are put ashore on a remote sea stac to hunt birds. But this summer, no one arrives to take them home. Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they’ve been abandoned – cold, starving and clinging to life, in the grip of a murderous ocean. How will they survive such a forsaken place of stone and sea?
This is an extraordinary story of fortitude, endurance, tragedy and survival, set against an unforgettable backdrop of savage beauty.
Details on Where the World Ends
Imagine being intrigued by the story of some lads and a truth that happens. Imagine the fascination of wanting to know what happened but not knowing the whole story. And then consider this: you can fill in your own gaps. Write your own story with your imaginings. And thus the story of Where the World Ends came into being.
Boys become men. Spending time on the stacs, hunting birds, their eggs, feathers and oil. Helping their people who live on a small island make a living. This they do every summer. They go, they work, they get picked up. The cycle repeats and boys grow up until one year, one year their pick up doesn’t come. What will happen with the boys? Will their guardians provide the support they need? Will they survive? How long will they need to wait? Oh… so many questions, but you’ll have to read the book to find out! No Spoilers here!
Different birds preface each chapter. Other than the map shown earlier, they are the only illustrations in this adolescent read.
Excellent character development with great capturing of teenage emotion and angst. Seeing these boys grow in their understanding of each other and themselves was so compelling.
I finished over the course of a day, finding it as easy read without too much darkness in it.
One aspect of the storyline I found unbelievable, but most was quite plausible, even the growing madness of one of the adults. (okay, so that was a SLIGHT spoiler). 🙂
I can imagine reading this book together with a group of teens and then talking about what is going on. Getting their take on the characters and whether it was believable or not. How do they think they would act in such a situation? Do they think a situation is believable? Don’t you think it would be great to discuss such a story with them?