LONG LIST REVIEW: To The Edge of the World

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Living on a tiny island, miles from anywhere, might not be everyone's idea of heaven, but for Jamie, it offers a new start, a different way of life away from the mainland, the school and the bullies that had made him miserable.

Here, he meets Mara, a strange, wild girl, who seems completely fearless. She is determined to sail her boat, 'Stardust' to St Kilda, an island at the edge of the world and Jamie gets caught up in her adventure.

Beautifully written, 'To the Edge of the World' richly describes the natural world, enveloping the reader in the sights and sounds of these remote, unsullied islands and the perils of the untamed sea. The close relationship of people living here with nature and their respect for and understanding of it are cleverly woven into the story. Jamie's pride in the traditions of his family and their feeling of belonging to the island add to the strong sense of just how special this area is. There is so much to explore on these pages- so many opportunities to inspire descriptive writing, writing in role and poetry. Scenes from the book also lend themselves really well to drama and role play activities. 

As well as being a great adventure, the story is also one of friendship and courage. Jamie overcomes many of his fears- that of swimming, of the wild sea, of being different- through his friendship with Mara, who seemingly fearless, has her own problems to deal with. Her devotion to her dog is particularly heart warming. Discussions around what makes us really brave and how we react to things would easily stem from the story. 

'To the Edge of the World' is a great adventure story with strong characters and vivid description.

To the Edge of the World     Julia Green

OUP    ISBN: 978-0192758453