________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 15. . . .December 16, 2017


At the Edge of the World.

Kari Jones.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
243 pp., trade pbk., pdf & epub., $14.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1062-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1063-1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1064-8 (epub).

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Tabitha Nordby.

*** /4



“Did you get in?” Ivan asks. To avoid answering, I straighten up my board and paddle hard to catch the wave. The green water swells around me, and I curve my board to its contours until it fades below me.

Somehow, Ivan’s still right next to me. He lies down on his board and stares at me. “Come on, Maddie. Did you get in to that university or not?”

“You’ve got cedar chips in your hair,” I say.

He shakes his head, the only part of him not covered by his wet suit. “I spent the morning cutting wood,” he says. “Got a good chunk of Bo’s shelves done.”

Ivan’s made a lot of shelves for my dad, Bo, and somehow there’s always a need for more. Bo’s a science writer who works from home, and Peter, my other dad, is a violin maker. He has a studio at the back of the house that he always wants more shelves for. Between them, they buy books like most people buy groceries. It makes for a very full house, but we like it that way.

“Did your dad help you?” I ask, because Ivan always says no one knows wood like Des does.

“Yeah,” he says, though the way he turns his head from me makes me think there’s more to that statement than he’s letting on.

“Yeah, but…?” I ask.

He shrugs. His typical answer to a question he doesn’t want to answer. Well, that’s both of us not answering questions then.


Ivan and Maddie have been friends since childhood. Growing up in the small community of Bear Harbour, BC, they’ve done everything together. But now that high school is over, things are changing. Maddie’s been accepted to Emily Carr University, but she is unsure if she wants to go. Ivan wants to escape from the pressures of taking care of his alcoholic father, but he is afraid to abandon him. As the pressures of their lives begin to fray at their friendship, both must decide what they really want from life, from each other, and how to make their decisions known to the people they love.

      At the Edge of the World is the latest Orca release from author Kari Jones who has written several middle grade and teen novels for Orca. In At the Edge of the World, Jones addresses realistic and relatable issues of the late teen years, including transition from youth to adulthood, the challenges of changing friendships, and the responsibility of carrying dark and harmful secrets for others.

     Although this novel moves at a more leisurely pace than many other Orca books, it still manages to keep the reader’s attention through the believable alternating narration of Ivan and Maddie. At the Edge of the World will be enjoyed by teens who enjoy realistic and contemporary fiction.


Tabitha Nordby is a Readers’ Advisory and Reference Instructor in the Library and Information Technology Program at Red River College in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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