cover image The Girl from Earth’s End

The Girl from Earth’s End

Tara Dairman. Candlewick, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2480-1

Twelve-year-old Henna Quinn-Correira, described as having sun-bronzed skin, has lived at the Gardenia Isles’ remotest island, Earth’s End, since being delivered by boat as an infant. Though her two papas, dark-complexioned Joaquim and pale-skinned Niall, weren’t expecting to receive a baby in response to an ad for art project supplies, she’s been with them ever since—developing an affinity for plant life and studying the Great Soil Blight that wiped out the islands’ citrus industry. When Papa Niall’s seeming allergies turn out to be the recurrence of a serious lung cancer, and Henna learns of the nightwalker plant—a rare, healing epiphyte of the islands’ now-blighted orange trees—the girl leaves home to attend St. Basil’s, the Gardenias’ foremost plant sciences academy. The school may prove the repository of the nightwalker’s remaining uncultivated seeds, which, Henna hopes, might be planted symbiotically with the island’s last remaining orange tree to save Papa Niall’s life. While thoughtfully building out the islands’ natural world and touching on themes of discrimination, sustainability, and corporate ethics, Dairman (Desert Girl, Monsoon Boy) raises the stakes as quiet exposition gives way to a page-turning final half. The cast is intersectionally diverse; an author’s note concludes. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Mar.)