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Where the World Ends
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Where the World Ends

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,055 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L. Printz Award winner Geraldine McCaughrean comes an extraordinary story of eight boys stranded on a rock in the middle of the sea, left to fight for their survival.

Every time a lad went fowling on the stacs, he came home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is.

Every summer Quill and his friends
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Flatiron Books (first published May 2017)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  1,055 ratings  ·  223 reviews

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Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is true to the blurb. Set in 1727, a group of boys from Hirta go hunting on a sea stac in St. Kilda. No one comes to pick them up as they normally do and they become stranded for many months.

Most of the time, the story dragged. It's mostly about their day-to-day mundane happenings and a lot of birds. Here and there something of interest happens though. For the most part though, I felt bored and disengaged. Though the dark atmosphere and setting were painted remarkably, the story
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book is unique. The writing is not what I'm used to but it grows on me and I like the humor underneath it. The broken English in their conversation is hard to read but I'm guessing that it's how the people of Hirta talks. I like Murdo and his talks of sweethearts. I like John's surprise. I also like Quill for always having something to say and stories to tell, especially how he protects little Davie.

This book is told in the third person point of view following Quilliam (Quill) as he says
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, scotland, 2018
Really enjoyed learning about a place in my country that i didn't know existed until this book.
Very interesting.
I thought it was very adult for a YA book.
Dragged a little.
Christine Spoors
This book is set on a sea stac in the St. Kilda archipelago. It follows a group of men and boys who become stranded there when the boat from Hirta does not return to collect them. It's set in 1727 and based on a true story, a nightmare of a true story!

I wasn't sure if this book would be a bit too young for me, but I absolutely loved it. McCaughrean's writing is absolutely wonderful and I am so glad I picked this book up. Despite the book being set on one solitary sea stac the world-building was
HP Saucerer
A fascinating story of survival, humanity and the awesome power of nature. Where the World Ends is both bleak and hopeful, moving and mythical. I especially enjoyed learning about all the different sea birds (there’s a beautiful illustrated guide at the back of the book of all the species mentioned in the story), but where McCaughrean excels, is in her creation of the landscape, bringing the uncompromising, brutal nature of the Warrior Stac to life so vividly. This is such a beautifully written ...more
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

Geraldine McCaughrean has always been a hit and miss author for me. I adored her A Little Lower Than The Angels, and I liked Peter Pan in Scarlet, but I couldn't finish The Middle of Nowhere. This one kind of fell more into the later category, unfortunately, though I was able to finish this. And it did get better as it went on. It just felt a bit dry .

I didn't dislike the writing style. It does have a nice style to it, and I think it can work, but here it
I love reading WHERE THE WORLD ENDS. In some ways this book reminded me of THE LORD OF THE FLIES. The story concerns a group of boys along with two men who are dropped off on a remote sea stac to hunt birds, and no one comes to pick them up. One of the younger boys thinks it may be the end of the world. This book is so beautifully written and also very unsettling. I loved the artwork at the beginning of every chapter and the artwork is included at the end of the book. This is a story of survival ...more
Paula Bardell-Hedley
“On a diet of oily soup and ice-fringed, sleepless nights, their goodwill was failing and falling back inside their bodies, unable to reach their eyes to look out, or their mouths to smile, or their throats to speak.”
St Kilda is an isolated Scottish archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean, situated 41 miles west of Benbecula. It is bleak, sometimes beautiful, its sea cliffs the highest in the country, its narrow ledges and mighty stacs (large outcrops rising sheer-sided out of the sea) the
"Every time a lad came fowling on the St Kilda stacs, he went home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is…”

In the summer of 1727, a group of men and boys were sent to a sea stac (only a few miles away from the shore - unbeknownst to any of them) to harvest birds for food – they are expected to stay there for about 1 week upwards to three weeks, but no one ever returns to collect them. Why? The men and the boys start speculating on the reasons why they were left there
Patty (IheartYA)
Simply terrible. I'm still trying to comprehend what I just read but I don't want to put too much thought into it because I don't think it's worth it.

Received through Goodreads first reads/giveaways.
Ellie Labbett
Absolutely phenomenal! No words can portray how incredible this book is, I had heard glowing reviews but this was just on another level.
The reader follows the journey a group of men on the edge of peril. Originally sent to the Warrior Stac, a remote outcrop of rock in the middle of the sea, to hunt for birds to feed their families. After weeks of work, the boat that was meant to return the men to their homes does not appear. Abandoned and isolated, the reader sees humanity on the brink of
Nick Swarbrick
Hard to write a review without spoilers. The story is of a group of boys and men in the eighteenth century marooned on a stac, an outcrop of rock off the main islands of St Kilda, where they have gone to collect seabirds to feed the community over winter. Why they are not picked up and what they do to try and survive makes for an engrossing read.
There is more than just a simple survival narrative here. The reader is asked to confront issues of authority and leadership, organised and folk
*Some spoilers*

While I clearly didn't enjoy this book, it's one I went into with mixed expectations and one I've come away from with very mixed thoughts and feelings for and can't stop thinking about. I've read several of McCaughrean's other books, with Peter Pan in Scarlet being among my favourites, but few of her other books have really engaged me in the same way. After hearing a lot of buzz about this one and looking into the true story that inspired this book, I was really intrigued to read
“Cold laid clammy hands on their necks and kidneys, their hands and feet. It twanged on their muscles like a harpist.”
-Geraldine McCaughrean, Author, Where the World Ends

First sentence:

His mother gave him a new pair of socks, a puffin to eat on the voyage and a kiss on the cheek.

Where the World Ends is a gorgeously written book by Geraldine McCaughrean set in the 18th century and is a fictional account based on a true story. It centers around a group of three men and nine boys that are put
Jane Scholey
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an epic. I LOVE this book. The story (based on a true story) is excellent. A survival story so well told. The level of description-of the Stac(), the birds and the uses for them, the sheer will to try to get through an horrific situation -just brilliant. I felt as if I could feel the awful sea, hear the sounds of thousands of birds. Tense, gripping, haunting. ...more
Phoebe Ledster
I am finding it difficult to write this review because this novel is like no other that I have read. It is honest, thrilling and vicious in places. McCaughrean has written something which is able to transport the reader and makes you feel and fear everything with the characters. This story is about a group of boys and men who are abandoned and face not only perilous physical dangers but also the fear and risks of loneliness. For me, there were so many questions raised and themes such as ...more
Brittany Colpitts
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just won this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and will update the review and rating accordingly when I finish reading the book. :)
An incredibly moving and gripping book set on the islands off the coast of Scotland in the western most islands of the Outer Hebrides one of the most remote locations you could imagine. The inhabitants eek out a living by hunting on rocky vertical outcrops called Stacs, which are out in the ocean, gathering birds and their eggs and selling them to the owner of the islands and living on only those in teams. Then a boat arrives back and carries the hunters back to their family on the nearly as ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

Decided to read this because it won the Carnegie medal this year (and I thought the story sounded interesting).

‘Where the World Ends’ is set in 1727 and is about a group of boys (and a few men) who are left stranded on a sea stac located in St Kilda (off the coast of Scotland). For the most part I found this quite an interesting book, especially considering that it’s based on a true event. The pacing was a little slow but not to the point where it was starting to get boring. I felt like
"Every time a lad came fowling on the St Kilda stacs, he went home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is…”

It is the summer of 1727 and nine boys and three men from Hirta (an island with no trees) find themselves marooned on the “Warrior Stac” (a sea stac in the St Kilda archipelago ;the highest sea stac in Scotland and the British Isles. Originally known as “Stac an Armin”).

They believe the world has ended – the only explanation they can offer for being abandoned with
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite this being a fairly horrific tale of survival on a remote Stac in Scotland it is (mostly) a wonderful story of humanity. The naivety of the characters provides a gentle humour that makes them endearing and ultimately makes the story uplifting.
I was interested to read that this is based on a true story as it reminded me of a similar incident in New Zealand where a group of fur sealers were left, for nearly four years, (Open Bay Islands, 1810) when their ship failed to return at the end of
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book just won the Carnegie, and certainly lots of people appear to love it...just not me. It is based on a fascinating true story, but the pace of the book was way too slow for me. I struggled on, then skimmed a lot and read the end.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is a tremendous book: such a story, such a setting and a wonderful central character. The birds, the rock, the sea, the hardship, the isolation; a truly immersive read. I was less enamoured of the switch of narrator in the final chapter but overall, a fabulous reading experience. KS3 rather than KS2 probably, though extracts of it could be used at KS2 for the rich language.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brief and chaotic as I'm on my phone: I couldn't put this down, and I don't say that lightly. I feel like I was there, that I know the people, that I can feel the rocks and hear the landscape. I didn't read the back or the context, and I'm glad. It's spacious, claustrophobic, intimate and strange. It'll take a while to digest & will need a re-read. Ks3 due to content.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, 2019, ya, horror
finding out that this was based on a true story has absolutely leveled me
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
Geraldine McCaughrean is a super versatile author. Her settings vary from a dilapidated music hall, the Australian outback, Noah’s Ark and the Arctic, (is there a propensity towards the edge of civilisation? The wastelands?) Her stories begin with her characters. McCaughrean is great at drawing conflict from the opposing wills of her characters.

I loved the setting. When people say outcast story, I think of Pacific islands, and the Amazon jungle. The bleakness of a far-flung Scottish island works
Anthony Burt
Apr 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then a book is hyped up and you have to start questioning why that is. Because there’s a genuinely brilliant story here, or because – despite the best efforts of writer, editor, cover designers and publisher marketers – the story they have is poor. Where the World Ends is in the latter category, for me.

For such an accomplished writer as McCaughrean, this story is muddled, ridiculous, badly described and is full of religious clap-trap.

Based on a “true story” (although McCaughrean
A. K Grounsell
'Where the World Ends' starts off slow and doesn't really speed up at all. Although, I enjoyed the very original plot I found the book tedious and a times seemingly impossible to finish. I thought Geraldine had effectively capture the St Kilda culture through her language descriptions and use of dialog. Her characters were fairly in dept, interacted well with each other and had intriguing developments. The book really made me wonder how I would act if I was in the same position as the St Kilda ...more
Based on a true story, this YA /children's novel is exquisitely written. It manages to be both bleak and hopeful at the same time. A gripping story of survival as well as a study of humanity and the power of nature, with a bit of myth/fairy tale thrown in for good measure.
M. Jones
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic story, based on true events, written in wonderful lyrical prose, and with great affection for its characters and their setting.
A party of boys and a couple of men go fowling from the island of St. Kilda on the vertical sea-stacks a few miles offshore. They're set to stay for a few weeks, climb the crags to fill their bags, and then be picked up by a boat from shore. Except the boat never comes.
What happens next is a story of endurance - and not a little ignorance - and the obstinate
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Geraldine McCaughrean was born in 1951 and brought up in North London. She studied at Christ Church College of Education, Canterbury and worked in a London publishing house for 10 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1988. She has written over 120 books, 50 short plays for schools, and a radio play.

Her adult novels include Fires’ Astonishment (1990) and The Ideal Wife (1997), but she is
“Being irretrievably damned had its advantages:” 1 likes
“Quill was full of glories ineffable. Feelings scrabbled about in him like a mouse inside an owl.” 0 likes
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