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The Boy at the End of the World Hardcover – June 21, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1St Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599905248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599905242
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Fisher's survivalist journey through the ruins of our future is both funny and affecting, full of transformed creatures, broken cities, and mad robots. Amid desperate escapes, explosive battles and piles of mammoth dung, The Boy at the End of the World, also manages to ask interesting questions about our place in the world, and where we're headed as a species." —Paolo Bacigalupi, Printz Award winning author of Ship Breaker

"Greg van Eekhout's The Boy at the End of the World is both moving and full of adventure. This remarkable survival story will change the way readers think about themselves and the world they live in." —Sarah Prineas, author of The Magic Thief

"Greg van Eekhout's The Boy at the End of the World is wholly engaging and action packed. It is a compelling journey story filled with unusual friendships and a vision of the future that doesn't shy away from eco-heavy messages and themes as it plunges the reader ever forward toward a riveting, cinematic end." —Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor author of Savvy

"The characters are well developed and the moral dilemmas are sound. This is an excellent beginning for science fiction readers and the study of dystopian society. Recommended." — Library Media Connection

"The author of Kid vs. Squid (2010) repeats with another quirky, high-stakes adventure hung about with oddball ideas and life-threatening hazards... Van Eekhout moves his tale along briskly to a violent, suspenseful climax… A pleaser for readers who prefer their sf livened up with unpredictable elements and emotional complexity." —Booklist

"Part speculative fiction, part cinematic survival adventure, the novel features a brisk pace and clever and snappy dialogue. The real, scary possibility of human destruction of our own environment is tempered by this diverting tale of the possibilities of continued existence and the meaning of hope, friendship and community." —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

GREG VAN EEKHOUT is the author of the middle-grade novel Kid vs. Squid and the adult novel Norse Code. His last name is pronounced like this: van, as in the thing you drive, eek, as in, "Eek, killer robots are stomping the rutabagas!" and hout, like "out" with an h in front of it. The emphasis is on Eek: van EEKhout.

More About the Author

Greg van Eekhout writes novels for adults and young readers, typically characterized by mayhem, banter, weirdness, and action. His first novel, Norse Code, was a finalist for the Locus Award for Best First Novel. His middle-grade novel, The Boy at the End of the World, was a nominee for the Andre Norton Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy award.
He lives in Southern California, where two seismic plates crash into each other and give rise to disaster and mayhem.

Customer Reviews

Highly recommend for young adults, and their parents.
Casse Hultin
Best book ever you have to read everyone can read no big words Please read great book once again read!
My 9-year-old son got this book a couple of days ago.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For all that dystopias are now the #1 hot genre amongst children and teens (having supplanted vampires for the moment) I've yet to have a kid actually ask me for one. It wouldn't take much. If even one ten-year-old walked up to my reference desk in the library and said, "I want a book set in the future" I'd be satisfied that this is a genre with staying power. Kids don't ask for that kind of thing, though. They'll specify mermaids or vampires or mysteries or ghost stories, but never future stuff. That's where Greg van Eekhout's The Boy at the End of the World has an advantage, however. Because even if the kids aren't asking for post-apocalyptic wonders, they are asking me for adventure stories. I've even had kids hold up Gary Paulsen's Hatchet and ask, "Do you have anything else like this?" Well, it's not exactly the same as throwing a kid in the middle of the Canadian wilderness with only a single hatchet but if you were to replace the words "Canadian wilderness" with "post-apocalyptic hellscape" and "hatchet" with "talking robot" then I think we'd be on the same wavelength. Mr. van Eekhout pens for us a fast-paced, engaging, and sometimes horrifying glimpse into one of our possible futures. A place where if the evil sentient robots don't get you, the talking prairie dogs might.

He wakes up to a world destroyed. Something has gone wrong. Created with an abundance of fishing knowledge, young Fisher emerges full formed from his pod to find that he may well be the last human being on earth. Thousands of years ago humans created bunkers called "Arks" and placed a variety of species in there asleep until they could be wakened.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
[a mom typing this review for her 11-year-old son]

This is a really good book! Even better than his other book, which is not about Fisher, called Kid Vs Squid. So Fisher sets out from his Ark, which is destroyed when the Gadgets attack, with Click the cleaning robot and a pygmy mammoth called Protein. He heads for another Ark but when something like the Gadgets has already attacked it, he heads for another Ark. Will this one be intact? Or is Fisher going to be the last human alive?

I loved this book because Fisher was a great main character. He hadn't really experienced much, but he still makes it to all the Arks. He has only a spear and a catapult like thing and his friends, and his courage and his perseverance. Fisher is funny at times, too. I also liked that the prairie dogs were about Fisher's size and they were neutral--there were some that didn't like Fisher, and there were some that liked him. My favorite part of the book was probably when they saw a whale in the Mississippi River. I never thought I would see that!

To sum it up, I really really liked it. I recommend it for readers who like books that are funny in some parts but really it has a rather serious quest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Boy at the End of the World is a new YA by Greg van Eekhout, author of Kid vs. Squid. Like his first YA book, The Boy at the End of the World is aimed squarely at the younger end of YA. This is a book more for the range of 3rd to 5th grade I'd say rather than for middle-schoolers and up. In that vein, it speeds along a pretty straightforward plot line quickly with few plot twists or diversions into details of setting or character. Its likable if a bit pallid main character is enlivened by his more interesting (and funny) companions, making it a mostly engaging if somewhat simplistic read.

The book opens with a bang, literally, as the boy--Fisher--awakens in the pod he's been grown in. The pod is inside an Ark, built to hold the last humans as well as other species, until the Earth has healed enough from its mostly human-caused deprivations to support life again. The Ark has just been attacked, however, and Fisher is the sole survivor, save for a somewhat-damaged caretaker robot who managed to imprint the boy with the "Fisher" personality just before the attack. The imprint gives him not only his name, but also built in skills and knowledge. Shortly after the disaster, Fisher and the robot, whom Fisher has named Click, learn of the possible existence of a second Ark in the South. After picking up a pygmy mammoth (Fisher names him Protein), they head down a river Huck Finn fashion to seek the rumored Ark. Along the way, they have to deal with some dangerously evolved species, attacks from rogue technology, giant talking prairie dogs, and the possibility of yet another Ark.

Fisher grows in his abilities to survive, in his moral outlook, and in his self-confidence. He isn't a particularly deeply drawn or compelling character, but he's enjoyable enough to follow along.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Boy At The End Of The World is a great sci-fi choice for the 8-10 year old set that delivers on the imagination, even as it skimps on some of the details. Older readers will be quick to spot gaps in a story that is often shallow, but younger boys will find much to love in this highly imaginative, well written tale of survival.

The action starts immediately as Fisher wakes up from his pod all alone except for a robot who is programmed to help him survive. He finds out that the rest of the beings in his Ark are dead, victims of an attack from an unknown source. He then sets off with Click the robot to discover if he is truly the last human on earth. Their adventure is full of close calls, interesting villains and post apocalyptic doom. There is a nice ecological message here as Fisher learns what has happened to Earth after centuries of human mistreatment. His asides as he muses on what humans must have once been like are amusing and poignant. The message doesn't ever become heavy handed and will likely spark some great discussions.

This is a very well paced story that will appeal to fans of dystopian fiction not quite ready for some of the more gruesome and intense teen fare. Fisher, the robot Click and their baby wooly mammoth make a great team and their interactions result in lots of funny moments that help keep the story moving along. This book tells a big story in few pages, and does a great job of wrapping things up in a way that wasn't too pat, leaving room for the reader to ponder that sometimes the easiest thing to do isn't always the right thing. There's no cliffhanger ending, but it would be nice to see this story continue as a series. The characters are charming and the world building leaves the door open for lots more exciting things to come. Recommended.
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