“The plotting is altogether laudable, the setting beautifully realized, and the characters highly empathetic. Especially good is the voice Avi has conjured for Oliver, just antique enough to evoke eighteenth-century diction and syntax. One thing is certain: it may be the end of the world, but there is no end to the pleasure Avi’s latest evokes.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Told in appropriately 18th-century diction, Oliver’s picaresque is a harrowing page-turner that takes an unflinching look at what life was like for those living in servitude in the American Colonies.… Action-packed and inspirational—another stunner.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Master storyteller and Newbery Medal winner Avi continues the thrilling adventure begun in his critically acclaimed historical page-turner The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts with his new book, The End of the World and Beyond (Algonquin Young Readers; on sale January 29, Ages 8+). With two starred trade reviews, Kirkus Reviews calls the sequel “a harrowing page-turner” while Booklist calls out the “high empathetic” characters and Oliver’s “especially good” voice.
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts introduced readers to Oliver, a boy who awakes in his 18-century English home to find his house flooded, his family missing, and his pantry and purse empty. After a series of misadventures, Oliver reunites with his sister, Charity, only to be torn apart again when the two are sentenced to indentured servitude in America, and sent off on separate boats.
The End of the World and Beyond picks up Oliver’s ill-fated journey across the Atlantic. Oliver is shackled to his fellow prisoners, and endures inedible food, filthy conditions, and deadly storms. But the hazardous shipboard journey is nothing compared to the peril that waits for him on the colonial shores.
After the ship’s landing in Annapolis, Oliver’s indentured servitude is purchased by the foul, miserly Fitzhugh, who is rumored to have murdered another servant. On Fitzhugh’s isolated tobacco farm, Oliver’s only companion is an enslaved boy named Bara. Oliver and Bara become fast friends with one shared goal: to escape with their lives. But first the boys must flee Fitzhugh’s plantation, outrun their brutal pursuer, and survive the dangers that lurk deep in the nearby cypress swamp.
The Unexpected Life Oliver Cromwell Pitts was praised as “brimming with fast-paced action, evocative settings, and villains” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), “an ingeniously plotted Dickensian story filled with suspense, surprises, and ultimately satisfaction” (Booklist, starred review), and “impossible to put down” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). The End of the World and Beyond delivers even more high-adventure, sinister villains, and surprising twists as only Avi can provide.
About the author: Avi is the author of the Newbery Medal novel Crispin: The Cross of Lead and the Newbery Honor books Nothing But the Truth and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, among many other books for young readers. Catch You Later, Traitor was inspired by his own childhood in Brooklyn during the Red Scare. Avi now lives in Colorado. You can visit him online at www.avi-writer.com