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Journey Outside

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  279 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Grandfather said they were headed for the Better Place, but Dilar suspected they were headed nowhere, simply following the dark underground river blindly. And so one night he leaped onto a shelf of rock and watched the flotilla of the Raft People disappear. And from there he found his way Outside, into a world so beautiful and strange he could only suppose he had died-a wo ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 26th 1979 by Puffin Books (first published April 28th 1969)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  279 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Diana Welsch
Dec 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Dilar lives on a raft with his family, in a convoy of rafts that drifts along an underground river. Supposedly the rafts are headed for a "better place," but they never get there, and Dilar starts wondering if they aren't just going in a big circle. This thought consumes him until he hops off the raft onto the riverbank and watches his whole life float away.

He starts climbing up the cave walls and eventually makes it to the surface of the earth, where he gorges himself on peaches and gets a bad
Phil Jensen
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Raft People have been floating down an underground river for generations, but Dilar dreams of more! If that sounds good to you, then you are the weirdo that this book is looking for.

Dilar escapes the Raft People and travels through a series of weird societies. Each society has quirks relating to some form of willful ignorance and some form of seeking peace. It reminds some readers of Gulliver's Travels, which is fair, but it reminds me a bit more of The Little Prince in its focus on the huma
The story of a tween or teen who becomes dissatisfied with the lifestyle of his people. As a member of The Raft People, Dilar floats along on an underground raft with his family and friends on rafts close by. One day Dilar sees a cliff outcropping and on a whim, jumps off his father's raft. He finds the way to the outside world and has many adventures and makes many discoveries.

The only fault I have with the book is that it ends with Dilar just beginning his voyage back to the hill from whence h
Nina Levine
Nov 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, survival
Can you imagine never having seen green? Dilar impulsively abandons, for a time, his raft, leaving behind the primitive River People. Emerging from a mountain-top, Dilar's senses are flooded with the wondrous landscape spreading before him. He journeys widely discovering a world previously unimagined while searching for the answer to the question that nags him. Is this the Better Place his people dream of? We catch a glimpse of the familiar through the eyes of an innocent as we share in Dilar's ...more
Kathy Mathey
Great book to use as a springboard for teaching about world cultures; peculiar, but interesting.
Thomas Bell
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery-honors
At first, I thought this was going to be a more interesting book. A group of people living their lives on a bunch of rafts on a river going in circles in a dark tunnel. Definitely a dystopia.

Then it changed pretty quickly, and the boy left his surroundings and discovered a new place. He wanted to bring his people there. Then he discovered that that place had some serious problems as well. So he found a new place. Then another new place. Then another new place.

So really this book is five dystopia
Rated G.

THIS WAS WEIRD. It was seriously trippy. As the back says, it can be an allegory, a fantasy, an adventure--and all at the same time. It is a truly bizarre but oddly interesting story of a boy's search for a Better Place for himself and his family.
Interesting story about a boy who lives underground on a raft with his father and grandfather and their people. He decides to explore the world and meets many different types of people. Enjoyable and different.
Rebecca McNutt
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm not certain what to think of this book. It was okay, but nothing original or special to get excited about, and I didn't really like or relate to the characters.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-read
Started out with a story line much like another book that I love, but turned out somewhat differently. Read "City of Ember" and that series.
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book, as a young adult, and now.
Bryan Skelton
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I am still not sure about this one. It will take some thinking. Very interesting story, however I am not sure about the end and its meaning.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, newberry
TITLE: Journey Outside
WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: It is a Newbery Honor Book; it met my reading challenge criteria being connected to the book before it, The Left-Hand of Darkness, being published in the same year, 1969
REVIEW: This was a nice and quick little read, about 143 pages. It is the story of a boy whose people live on rafts. Rafts that float in dark tunnels in an endless circle, or so he thinks. So he gets of the raft to prove that they are going nowhere. He ends up meeting up with several g
Amber Scaife
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A boy who has lived his entire life on a raft on a river which flows in a circle through a vast collection of underground caves accidentally finds a way out into the world and goes on a journey of discovery.
This is easily the most philosophical Newbery Honor Book I've ever read; think Plato's Cave for middle grade readers. And you know? It works. Happily recommended.
Michelle Johnson
Oct 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1-25
There was a family that would live on a rafts going through the cannon day after day seeing and doing the same thing over and over. they did not want change they only new that they were going to a new land and that one day they will hit that land and be happy again. well there was a boy that did not want to wait he did not like the day after day doing and saying the same things if they spoke. nothing was new not even the rocks that they past or the food they ate which was fish if they caught an ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Liked the Odyssey-like style.

Reading The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau reminded me of this a bit.
rated it really liked it
Mar 13, 2018
Samantha Kipp
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Jun 09, 2015
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Aug 19, 2018
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Mar 30, 2012
Joshua Cox
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Feb 27, 2018
rated it it was ok
Oct 08, 2018
Robin Pinkerton
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Dec 25, 2016
Kaydis hamilton
rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2019
Maryclaer Obieje
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Jun 29, 2019
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Feb 16, 2012
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寶 簡
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May 05, 2016
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Jul 27, 2011
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Full name: Mary Quintard Govan Steele

Noted American author and naturalist of over 20 books --- some adult-style, but mostly for children. Her 1970 Journey Outside was a Newbery Honor Book. Steele sometimes wrote under the name Wilson Gage.

Steele was the youngest daughter of an author-historian and a well-known children's writer, Christine Noble Govan (author of The Pink Maple House). Her older sis