A Kite at the Edge of the World


Children - Concept
195 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Kite at the Edge of the World is a work of poignant and meaningful children’s fiction and was penned by author Katy Grant. Caught amid the pure joy of childish innocence and the cruel, fragile nature of life itself, this inspiring and heartbreaking work focuses on themes of friendship, loss and making the most of what you have. We see these themes unfold in the brand new friendship between two young boys, one of whom has never seen the seaside before. As the new friends contrive a plot to ditch their adult minders and set off to fly kites over the sea, it transpires that one of them is terminally ill and that his seaside day will be one to remember.

Author Katy Grant has created a powerful tale for adults and children to read together, developing the simplistic charms of traditional kite flying and outdoor hobbies of times gone by with the clinical, medical world and some pretty dark ideas of mortality. It is unusual to find themes such as death and grief discussed so frankly, and I think these are masterfully handled in this text to teach young readers a lot about emotional intelligence, seizing the day and being open to new experiences in their own lives. The characters are subtly brilliant, introduced very simply but slowly informed and developed through their dialogue and actions. Overall, A Kite at the Edge of the World is a suitably moving but also motiving and uplifting read, one which would benefit any young person trying to understand grief.

Joshua Soule

“But as waves of memory long buried wash over me, I find myself coming back, again and again, to one particular day. A great day. Perhaps my best day.” A Kite at the Edge of the World, written by Katy Grant, is an exceptional story with an elderly narrator reminiscing about his childhood friendship, adventure, and loss. The story begins when our narrator forms a fateful friendship with a boy, Ilio, who had come to the seaside as a final wish because he is dying. Seeing the ocean, however, is not enough for our two friends who soon embark on a quest to fly a kite at “the edge of the world”. The task is not simple; supplies need to be gathered, money needs to be obtained, and the kites need to be built. Grant has done an excellent job of building a realistic and emotional bond between these two unlikely friends as they grow and develop their friendship throughout the book.

A Kite at the Edge of the World is much more than your average children’s book. Author Katy Grand skillfully incorporates a powerful message of friendship and loss that is both emotional and educational. I also found special value in the carefully constructed sentences and vocabulary that are appropriate for the targeted audience and will help them grow as readers. A Kite at the Edge of the World is an excellent story for children and adults, and author Katy Grant is a children’s author who is destined for great things. Nice work!

Bruce Arrington

A Kite at the Edge of the World by Katy Grant is a story of friendship and dying. A sensitive story, it is written from the perspective of a boy who one day befriends another when they are on a holiday at the seaside. He soon learns Ilio is dying. But the bond of friendship that develops between them allows them to go on a true journey of discovery. Ilio is brave and can charm others and has qualities the younger boy could only wish he had. They learn from each other and help one another, even to the very end.

A story like this naturally sets itself apart from many other children’s books. It is not only a story about friendship, but it also teaches children that death is real, and even though it may come at an early age, there are ways in which to help soften the harsh blows that come with it. For example, the two boys set out on an adventure to build their very own kite and fly it, though several challenges present themselves. A refocus helps both of them escape the pain of reality, if only for a few hours so they can simply enjoy living in the now.

The story did not soften the blow to adults either, and readers feel their pain of the loss, which can help them understand that everyone suffers during these times, not only the ill individual. One thing I brought away from this was that we should live each day to the fullest. A Kite at the Edge of the World by Katy Grant is a remarkable tale and comes highly recommended for young and old alike. A powerful story, excellent writing, and an awesome job.

Vernita Naylor

Fun, fun, fun can be had at any time, any place and with anyone. Do you have any memories of perhaps the best day of your life? Read, embrace and visualize how the narrator looks back on his life and recall the great day that he had when he met Ilio and they became the best of friends. Not only for children but adults too, A Kite at the Edge of the World by Katy Grant shows how friendships and sharing can happen between two people despite their differences. This funny, whimsical story reflects childhood, innocence, and not having a care in the world. The reader will enjoy this book and learn to enjoy life every day and reflect on what it has to offer while taking risks, grabbing life by the horns and setting out on a journey of adventure. As an added treat, you will learn the fundamentals of kite making.

I loved this story because when we're children we can't wait to grow up but when we become adults we realize differently. "Now that my days are numbered, I realize I have spent my life, not lived it," says Katy. I can personally relate to this because every day is a gift of hope, discovery, reflection, and beginning again. This book offers so many metaphors about life, friendships, family and connection. It was astounding as Katy intertwine several tales and stories within this book. One thing that really stood out for me is that with the ability to surrender and be open with someone that we call a friend, they can help to bring out the best in us and reveal qualities and abilities that we never knew we had. Get your copy today and enjoy!

Vincent Dublado

The loss of a friend is profoundly heartbreaking. Whatever coping mechanisms we use to move on, the heart and soul are scarred forever. A Kite at the Edge of the World is written to illustrate this bitter truth. Young adult author Katy Grant explores the volatility of loss, grief, friendship, and tribute. A seaside village makes a rich fount of joy for Ilio, a young boy who has a keen observation for the things around him and a philosophical curiosity to see the edge of the world--and he is dying. He befriends another boy who narrates the story in a first-person account. They find common ground in making the most out of every day, where flying a kite strengthens their solidarity and helps them stand against the odds. Then, one day, Ilio has to see a special doctor in the city.

Ms. Grant’s writing is gentle and unimposing. The narrow text passages make for easy reading, and the kite makes for an effective metaphor on the intense and high-flying emotions that can sweep readers up at given situations. Two young boys, with one of them dying, who pull together in a world of bullies and indifferent grownups will renew our confidence that all is not lost. The Kite at the Edge of the World is a nudge to remind us of a forgotten truth that life is about quality, not quantity. For what does it benefit us to live up to a hundred years, yet fail to make a difference in the lives of others? This story is comforting at all the right moments, and to some degree, it heals.