Thursday, January 21, 2016

‘On the Edge of Gone’ by Corinne Duyvis

Book cover, 'On the Edge of Gone' by Corinne Duyvis. Image, rendered in purples and blues, depicts the back view of a young woman standing in a city-scape. In the distance in front of her, rockets ascend vertically into the sky
Minutes before a meteor strikes the earth, Denise and her mother are granted temporary shelter aboard a “generation ship,” designed for a journey that will take several lifetimes to travel to distant planets.

Before the meteor, Denise cared for cats at an animal shelter. She attended neighborhood events that were organized by her sister Iris. But before it even struck the earth, the meteor’s arrival changed everyone’s life irrevocably.

Now ships like this are one of humankind’s few hopes for surviving the meteor’s impact.

During the few days that remain until the ship is ready to launch, Denise is desperate to find Iris, to keep her mother clean from drugs and to win a place for her and for her family aboard the generation ship.

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis (ABRAMS Kids, March 2016) is exciting science fiction peopled with believable characters. As a reader who, like the main character, is on the autism spectrum, I could especially relate to her uncertainty for the future and grief at everything she had lost, to the awkwardness she feels having to relate to the people around her and the comfort of having something familiar in the midst of so many changes.

Duyvis offers a diverse cast in terms of race, gender representation, religion and disability. She also dramatizes ideas about discrimination and cultural assumptions that need to be honestly and earnestly examined for their basis in life.

For example, because Denise was a Black girl, the entire range of mental health diagnoses she might be eligible for, shrank to only a “handful” of options that the doctors would consider. Similarly, her ability to operate a scooter by herself, to travel back to her water-flooded neighborhood to look for her sister, are at odds with another character’s beliefs about what people with autism are like.

I strongly recommend On the Edge of Gone for a library’s Young Adult collection. With its kept-me-reading storyline combined with diverse representation, I believe that many readers will be able to relate.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Thanks for this review, Cynthia. I had not heard of or considered this title before you wrote. Now our library will buy copies!

    1. That's wonderful! I think it will be a great addition to your library.


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