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The End of the World and Beyond
Algonquin Young Readers
January 2019
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The End of the World and Beyond

Convicted of thievery and transported from England to America, Oliver Cromwell Pitts, shackled to his fellow prisoners, endures inedible food, filthy conditions, and deadly storms on his voyage across the Atlantic. But the hazardous shipboard journey is nothing compared to the peril that waits for him on the colonial shores.
 
In Annapolis, Oliver’s indentured servitude is purchased by the foul, miserly Fitzhugh, who may 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 powerful goal: to escape Fitzhugh. Oliver hopes he can find his sister, Charity, brought somewhere in the colonies on a different ship. Bara dreams of reaching a community of free black people in the cypress swamp who may help him gain his liberty. But first the boys must flee Fitzhugh’s plantation and outrun their brutal pursuer and the dangers that lurk in the swamp.

Reviews

“Though darker than its predecessor, this sequel is equally fine. 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, Michael Cart, 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. Oliver is quietly heroic but also realistic as he endures his fate. African Bara, though seen through white Oliver's eyes, is given trope-defying agency, his intelligence and superior knowledge of the territory and customs putting him in the lead but never at Oliver's service. Brief backmatter gives historical context to this sequel. Action-packed and inspirational—another stunner” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

 
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