The End of Always

Second Story. Apr. 2024. 230p. pap. $15.95. ISBN 9781772603712.
Gr 8 Up–Ever since Isobel’s mom died, her father has become a survivalist obsessed with the collapse of civilization. Isobel feels as if she can handle her father’s erratic behavior until he decides to take her and her six-year-old sister to a survivalist community for the summer. What is supposed to be an opportunity to vacation and visit the community quickly becomes so much more as her father decides they should become members. When Isobel meets a boy her age raised as a survivalist, they both begin to question whether it is time to stop listening to their parents and put their needs first. This is a coming-of-age story that asks the question of how to stand up to loved ones in the name of what you believe. Isobel attempts to make her father see reason, but is faced with the fact is that there is only so much she can do without help. As she learns her father’s grief has triggered his anxiety, Isobel has to find a way to get him the support he needs and her family back home.
VERDICT Coming of age isn’t easy, especially when you’re trapped in a survivalist camp. A first purchase for readers of realistic fiction.

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