fp September 2004
North Of Everything
from the book...
for a new beginning and a simpler life, a young boy and his parents
move north -
from Miami, Florida, to Montpelier, Vermont. But just as the seasons
their new farm, the family experiences its own series of beginnings and
- for even in a place that seems safely "north of everything," life is
In this gentle, poignant novel-in-verse, Craig Crist-Evans has created a family story infused with joy, sorrow, and hope.
If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A
A young boy and his family move from Miami, Florida where there are “buses, trains, airports, malls, fast-food, restaurants, discotheques, and bars” and the only snow was “from movies and picture books” to Montpelier, Vermont “almost as far as you can go before you get to Canada”. Moving from a busy city environment to a 100 acre farm along the bank of the Winooski River, where his father grew up, is a big change for the young boy; other changes come too with a new baby on the way. As the young boy’s mother grows bigger his father seems to grow smaller and after the birth of baby Carolyn we find out he has been diagnosed with cancer…
This is a beautifully told short novel told in verse. It will move the reader who cannot but feel the joy, the sadness and the hope expressed. This gentle story is recommended for readers aged 10 and above.
Stephen, Canberra, Australia
North of Everything by Craig Crist-Evans is a heart wrenching tale of a young boy who moves from the south of America, where nothing seems to change, to north of everything, where everything is constantly changing; he has moved to the small town of Montpelier, Vermont.
The book is written in a young person’s perspective of the world. This boy although quite young, is very mature in his thinking. The book goes through ‘seasons’, showing the different parts of life and the different ways people experience things. It shows how it is to lose someone close to you, in this case a loving father. It also covers making friends, the differences of where he used to live and where her lives now, the birth of his sister Carolyn, whom he calls Spanky and the other joys and misfortune that life brings to you. The boy says that he doesn’t know why he calls his sister Spanky. When people wonder why others do the things they do, it shows that there doesn’t always have to be a reason for everything.
North of Everything shows how young children see things when older people see it totally differently. It was a very sad, loving story and I would recommend it to people of all ages as it is a very easy read but the story is one that will stay with you forever.
Samantha, Year 10, Canberra, Australia
North of Everything is written by Craig Crist-Evans and is about a boy and his family moving north all the time; it is almost spring and they are moving again but he doesn’t want to move again. His father grew up on a farm with cows and horses. Then the baby came and Mum and Dad called him Spanky.
This book is written for a young person. It is very easy to read and is a nice short book. I liked it but it was a little too short.
Bryce, age 15, Canberra, Australia