The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman is about a brave girl named Honor, born in the eighth year of Enclosure, living in a society controlled by the Earth Mother and her Corporation. Every family on island 365 lives peacefully and follows the rules– except for Honor’s. They sing songs, ignore curfew, and do not pray to Earth Mother. Families are only allowed to have one child, but Honor also has a younger brother. Despite her great effort, Honor has great trouble trying to fit in with the other girls at her school.
At her school, she befriends a boy named Helix who is very knowledgeable about the island and he reveals to Honor that the people who are not “normal” disappear and never come back. Honor has a constant fear that her parents will be caught and taken, and she and her brother would be orphans forced to live at school– and one day, she discovers that her parents are missing. She is scared and lives alone with her younger brother at her home. Eventually she is discovered and is forced to live at school. The girls in her class no longer accept Honor because of her orphan status.
Honor and Helix, both trying to escape from school, devise a plan to escape during a great storm, which happens every couple of years. After the storm comes, only Honor escapes and she runs away from the school. To see if she makes it to her parents, you need to read this book with a shocking ending!
I found this book very interesting and unique among other dystopian novels. I really liked the surprise ending and found the whole book really interesting. I finished this book in one day because it was so good and I could not put it down. Recommended for anyone with an interest in dystopian novels, The Other Side of the Island is for ages ten and up.
-Anmol K., 7th grade