THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Allegra Goodman

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND

Age Range: 11 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A popular adult author tries her hand at a dystopian children’s novel, with mixed results. In a future where only a few habitable islands remain on waterlogged Earth, ten-year-old Honor lives on Island 365 with her unconventional scientist parents. Though Honor attends a government school that espouses the propaganda of Earth Mother (the environmental version of an Orwellian Big Brother), her parents are part of a whisper campaign against the push to “Enclose” all remaining land to protect it from the wild weather patterns. They also take issue with the ban on any books, music or art that doesn’t come from “The Corporation.” Eventually Honor’s parents are arrested for their radical views and Honor is forced on a quest to the unregulated “other side of the island” to find them. Though Goodman’s straightforward and sometimes emotionally distant environmental fable suffers in comparison to similarly themed titles, such as Lowry’s subtle Giver (1993) and Westerfeld’s exciting Uglies (2007), the simple prose, clear message and timely topic still make this a solid introduction to the genre for middle-grade readers. (Science fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59514-195-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008