CKG review: Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

Looking for some bank holiday / half term reading? If you haven’t already read them all, the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists are a brilliant place to look for inspiration.

Today we continue on our mission to review all the shortlisted titles for each award before the winners are announced on 18th June. Here Ros reviews Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean, from the Carnegie shortlist:

What the publisher says…

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?

https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/11571/where-the-world-ends/

where the world ends

What we say…

Full disclosure – I am not a huge fan of Geraldine McCaughrean’s work as a whole. She’s a writer I appreciate, rather than enjoy, and so I was a bit trepidatious about reading this. I even had another book with me ready for when I gave up on it!

I did not give up on it. In fact, I could barely put it down. This story of a group of boys (and a few men) abandoned on a remote sea stac is full of tension and perhaps even more importantly, takes the time to develop the characters so that I genuinely cared about their fate. There are moments of humour amongst the grind of survival and when events took a bad turn at various points, I found myself almost holding my breath (and holding back tears).

This is based on a true story, although of course the actual events on the sea stac are fictionalised. McCaughrean manages to create an ending that feels almost like a beginning – full of hope for the future, but the author’s note about the actual reason for the group’s abandonment is devastating.

Ros

Watch Geraldine McCaughrean speaking about Where the World Ends on the CKG shadowing site: http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/watch.php?id=11

You can view the full Carnegie and Kate Greenaway 2018 shortlists here:

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/carnegie-current-shortlist.php

http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/greenaway-current-shortlist.php

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