The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

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Title: The Other Side of the Island

Author: Allegra Goodman

Published By: Razorbill (2008)


Honor and her parents have been reassigned to live on Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Life is peaceful there, the color of the sky is regulated by Earth Mother, a corporation that controls New Weather, and it almost never rains. Everyone fits into their rightful and predictable place. . . .

Except Honor. She doesn’t fit in, but then she meets Helix, a boy with a big heart and a keen sense for the world around them. Slowly, Honor and Helix begin to uncover a terrible truth about life on the Island: Sooner or later, those who are unpredictable disappear . . . and they don’t ever come back. (Taken from Goodreads.)


Wow! This book was amazing amazing amazing! I’ve read many a dystopian in my life, but this one is way up there with some of the best ones I’ve ever read. I read it in almost one sitting. It was so captivating and interesting!

Honor and her parents live on an island under the watch of Earth Mother and her many rules, but Honor’s family doesn’t follow most of those rules. They have an illegal second child, stay out past curfew, and even Honor’s name, in which the H is silent, doesn’t seem appropriate anymore. Honor and their second child—her brother Quintilian—worry about their parents. Because in this world, if you don’t follow Earth Mother’s rules, you disappear, and don’t come back.

I love, love, loved this book. Great writing, great characters, and a great realistic feel! Even though Honor starts as a ten-year-old and finishes as a fourteen-year-old, she stayed true to her character and everything pulled together fabulously.

Adventurous, mysterious, suspenseful, and clean…every so often I reread this book, and it never fails to remain one of my favorite books of all time.

Negative Content/Notes:

No negative content. However, there were some “religious” themes that had me knotted up for a while. Characters in the book worship “Earth Mother,” they pray to her and there is a version of the Lord’s Prayer they say to her. Honor’s parents, however, tell her that is not the answer, and that there is more to life than what she has been taught. While some could view this as some sort of message against Christianity, my final verdict is that I don’t see that at all. You could also say, after all, that Honor’s parents’ search for the Forecaster might represent going against the religious culture to follow Jesus. At the end of the day I just don’t think the author meant to send any sort of theme like that at all–based on the tone of the story I think it was only there to create an interesting story. I just thought it was worth noting.

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Recommended to: Highly, highly recommended to probably ages 10 & up!

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