The Island at the End of Everything
The Island at the End of Everything
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Annotation: When the Philippine government takes over Culion, an island for people with leprosy, Ami is put in an orphanage on another island. There, she finds a friend willing to help her return before her mother dies.
Catalog Number: #153628
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 243 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-553-53532-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-553-53532-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017021578
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
In 1906, 12-year-old Amihan lives with her mother on the Philippine island of Culion, which would become the largest leper colony in the world. Amihan and her mother share a tranquil life of quiet rituals, cooking fresh seafood, -catching- falling stars at night, and trying to grow a garden for butterflies. Their small community of the healthy and the afflicted (the term -Touched- is preferred to -leper-) live together peacefully until Mr. Zamora, a cruel government official, arrives to segregate the population and send -clean- children to an orphanage on a separate island. Amihan is heartbroken to leave her mother, whose disease is quite advanced, but once at the orphanage, she makes two friends who help her return when she gets word that her mother is dying. Hargrave-s lush, lyrical prose brings the jungle island to life and pulls readers into Amihan-s wrenching journey. Facts about the -Touched- contrast with people-s uninformed, fear-driven reactions, in particular those of Mr. Zamora, whose loathing of the afflicted leads to irrational and hateful behavior. A moving look at how prejudice blinds people to the humanity of others. Ages 10-up. Agent: Hellie Ogden, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Life on an island for those with Hansen's disease is all Amihan has ever known. Now she must face the outside world, ostracized for living among the lepers.In 1906, Amihan's mother was taken from her home to live on Culion, an island leper colony in the Philippines. Isolated from the rest of the world, Amihan loves life on Culion, and caring for her mother and watching for butterflies is all she wants to do. Then an unexpected visitor from the department of health arrives and declares that healthy children will be taken to live in an orphanage on a nearby island, away from the disease but also separated from their families. There Amihan meets Mariposa, a girl named for the butterflies, and they become fast friends. When alarming news reaches her, Amihan is in dire need to see her mother, and together the girls journey to find their way back to Culion. Narrated in the present tense from Amihan's point of view, the writing, laced with Tagalog, is simple, but the themes and topics are heavy, such as being seen as less than human. For her second novel, Hargrave (The Cartographer's Daughter, 2016) researched the history of the real island of Culion, and in it she captures the raw feelings of stigma, exile, and loss that came with Hansen's disease at that time.A heartbreaking and heartwarming must-read about love, loss, friendship, and determination in times of desperation. (glossary, author's note) (Historical fiction. 9-12)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Hargrave transports readers to the Philippines' Culion Island, 1906, in her poetic and affecting historical novel. This picturesque spit of land once housed a leper colony, and it is there that 12-year-old Amihan's story unfolds. Though raised on Culion by her naynay (mother), who is "touched" with leprosy, Ami is perfectly healthy, due to their extreme mindfulness and sanitation practices. She attends a school run by nuns with the island's other children, but all that changes when Mr. Zamora arrives to enact a government order to eradicate the disease through segregation: "We will make history of lepers,' he says, and a museum of this island.'" Cruel and prejudiced, he divides the island into Sano and Leproso zones, and takes all healthy children to the Coron Orphanage on a neighboring island. Ami's heart is broken when she is ripped away from her mother, but she makes her first friend, Mari, at the orphanage, and together they plot a way to return to Culion. Hargrave tells an incredible story of compassion, love, and daring in this book's pages, and her lyrical writing glides with the grace of a butterfly. An author's note gives the real history of Culion's leper colony and speaks to the complexity of human nature, further enriching Ami's unforgettable story.
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Starred Review ALA Booklist (Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 CST 2018)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 53,185
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 194158 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:14.0 / quiz:Q73239
Lexile: 770L
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y
There are some places you would not want to go.
Even if I told you that we have oceans clear and blue as summer skies, filled with sea turtles and dolphins, or forest-covered hills lush with birds that call through air thick with warmth. Even if you knew how beautiful the quiet is here, clean and fresh as a glass bell ringing. But nobody comes here because they want to.
My nanay told me this is how they brought her, but says it is always the same, no matter who you are or where you come from.
From your house you travel on horse or by foot, then on a boat. The men who row it cover their noses and mouths with cloths stuffed with herbs so they don't have to share your breath. They will not help you onto the boat although your head aches and two weeks ago your legs began to hurt, then to numb. Maybe you stumble toward them, and they duck. They'd rather you rolled over their backs and into the sea than touch you. You sit and clutch your bundle of things from home, what you saved before it was burned. Clothes, a doll, some books, letters from your mother.
Somehow, it is always dusk when you approach.
The island changes from a dark dot to a green heaven on the horizon. High on a cross-topped cliff that slopes toward the sea is a field of white flowers, looping strangely. It is not until you are closer that you see it forms the shape of an eagle, and it is not until you are very close that you see it is made of stones. This is when your heart hardens in your chest, like petals turning to pebbles. Nanay says the white eagle's meaning is known across all the surrounding islands, even all the places outside our sea. It means: Stay away. Do not come here unless you have no choice.
The day is dropping to dark as you come into the harbor. When you step from the boat, the stars are setting out their little lights. Someone will be there to welcome you. They understand.
The men who brought you leave straightaway, though they are tired. They have not spoken to you in the days or hours you spent with them. The splash of oars fades to the sound of waves lapping the beach. They will burn the boat when they get back, as they did your house.
You look at the person who greeted you. You are changed now. Like flowers into stones, day into night. You will always be heavier, darkened, marked. Touched. 
Nanay says that in the Places Outside, they have many names for our home. The Island of the Living Dead. The Island of No Return. The Island at the End of Everything.
You are on Culion, where the oceans are blue and clear as summer skies. Culion, where sea turtles dig the beaches and the trees brim with fruit.
Culion, island of lepers. Welcome home.

Excerpted from The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A poignant story filled with heart-warming courage as a young girl takes on a harrowing journey to be reunited with her mother.

Ami lives on Culion, an island in the Philippines for people who have leprosy. Her mother is among the infected. Ami loves her home: with its blue seas and lush forests, Culion contains all she knows and loves. But the arrival of malicious government official Mr. Zamora changes her world forever. Islanders untouched by sickness are forced to leave for a neighboring island, where the children are placed in an orphanage. Banished across the sea, Ami is desperate to return to Culion before her mother's death. She finds a strange and fragile hope in a colony of butterflies. Can they lead her home before it's too late? Heartrending yet hopeful, celebrated newcomer Kiran Hargrave's novel is a story about loss, perseverence, and faith.


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