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On the Edge of Gone

On the Edge of Gone

Book - 2016
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"In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2034, a comet is due to hit the Earth within the hour. Denise, who's sixteen years old and autistic, must try to find her missing sister and also help her neglectful, undependable mother safely aboard a spaceship"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Amulet Books, 2016
ISBN: 9781419719035
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 456 pages ; 22 cm


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Denise is in a race against time to find her missing sister and help her undependable mother get on a spaceship before a comet destroys Earth. If you've been waiting for a sci-fi book with an autistic lead, you've found one, and it. is. good.

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2034, a comet is due to hit the Earth within the hour. Denise, who's sixteen years old and autistic, must try to find her missing sister and also help her neglectful, undependable mother safely aboard a spaceship.

From the critics

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Mar 14, 2020

A very impressive novel about the end of time. Rarely do you see a novel with a main character who has Autism and this is such a positive accounting of someone who is on the spectrum. The novel is really a great read and I recommend it.

Sep 29, 2018

Good representation of an autistic character, especially how we experience the world, and how those functioning labels mean nothing. Sometimes Denise fits as "high-functioning," that almost normal, and sometimes she's "clearly autistic" in sensory overload or going non-verbal. The author does well showing the fact that we don't like being talked to like children, regardless of our actual age, and that we're quite capable of taking care of ourselves.

The setting is pretty interesting too, a post-apocalyptic setting that, while immediately dire, has the hope of recovery in some way. It's a nice change from the grungy "we gotta survive" feeling some books tend to have.

Mar 12, 2018

When a comet is set to hit the Earth, Denise, her mother, and sister Iris, are set for a temporary shelter. As the time nears, Iris is no where to be found and her drug addict mother is in no shape to make way anywhere. When circumstances change, Denise finds herself near a generation ship that has not left the Earth yet due to technical difficulty. Problem is that everyone has to have a skill to be on that ship. Denise has autism and feels that she cannot be of any help to anyone. Denise has to prove herself, find Iris, and help her mother. An overwhelming fact for a normal girl but with autism, Denise does not feel she can accomplish her goal and live into the future. A well-written book that portrays Denise is a very real manner. Lots of events happening and you want to find out what happens. Does she get to stay or have to go?

AliReads Apr 03, 2017

For anyone who has shown an interest in the 'We Need Diverse Books' movement, and for anyone who loves those end-of-the-world survival books, and for anyone who likes incredible, interesting, strong heroines. Yes, there are so many apocalyptic books these days, except this time, along with the terror of the world ending and questions about how on earth (or off it) humanity is going to survive, we've got Denise. Denise is autistic, black, 16 and desperately trying to find her sister and save her mother as time runs out for everyone. Love it. Want more.

Dec 18, 2016

Being someone who has spent a lifetime working with and advocating for people with developmental disabilities, this book was refreshing. I love that the author brought light to the fact that "Autistic" doesn't mean "worthless" or "useless". The book is very well written, holds your attention and doesn't have pages and pages of boring 'filler text'. Good read!

May 23, 2016

I was angry when it began as I felt it was way too PC and YA for my tastes. The protagonist, Denise is a young girl on the spectrum, black and her sister is trans. Then the story itself is so sparkly, Mormon clean that I could have read it out loud on a street corner in Salt Lake City. However, I was soon enthralled with my favorite genre of all time, apocalyptic dystopia that does not revolve around a televised sporting death match. Then Denise was so well developed that I started to relate to her autism. For instance while my ex wife/life partner and daughter were talking and riding horses for hours on end I sat in the van alone and finished this book. I can't tell sometimes if I'm just an old barn sour, curmudgeon, a true misanthrope or a touch autistic.

Jan 12, 2016

The main character, Denise, is black and autistic. The black (biracial to be specific in this case, but with an African American appearance) is rare enough in a Young Adult and/or Sci-fi novel…but the autism? I can legitimately say this is the first science fiction novel I’ve ever heard of with a main character that has a disability as serious as autism. Up until I read On the Edge of Gone, I’d only experienced three books that even mentioned prominent characters with disabilities. Two are in kid’s books (Chewy Noh‘s best friend, and Sam from Sam’s Top Secret Journal), and the third is from The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue. The rest of the time, everyone seems to be perfectly normal, and I think we miss out on something because of that.

Yes, its easier to write about someone who is ‘normal’, and whose concerns are ones that everyone can relate to, but those are not the only people in the world. We need more diversity like this. We need more protagonists that the differently abled population can identify with. Not only differently-abled is mentioned in this book, though. for Denise’s sister is a transgender girl. For the most part its talked about casually, but there are times when some of the common problems (such as wrong pronouns) are talked about, and there is a section where we learn about when Denise learned her sister was trans.

I honestly believe by promoting diversity in kids and young adult’s literature, we promote the acceptance of diversity in tomorrow’s generations. We need this.

Now, putting aside the diversity, which I obviously love, On the Edge of Gone is just a fantastically-written Young Adult book. It really is. Its also, while post-apocalyptic, not really a vivid tale of the world’s destruction. There aren’t sweeping descriptions of desolation. Its very localized, with emphasis more on the main character’s personal situation than anything else. I was instantly sucked into the story and found myself rooting for the characters and wincing at the situations that they were in.

Corinne Duvyis doesn’t just bring a desire to diversify literature to the table, she also brings a solid, hefty dose of raw talent, and this book is one that I think everyone will recognize the importance of.


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Jan 20, 2021

Davidchurcher thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 29, 2018

ipacpc thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 30, 2016

rechreads thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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