Sight Unseen

Sight Unseen

by David Carroll

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What would it feel like to know you are going blind?

Thirteen-year-old Finn loves bike riding - the more dangerous the trail, the better. But he had a spectacular crash a few months ago, and he's just received a diagnosis that will change his life. He is slowly going blind. In a few years his vision will be gone.

Desperate to salvage something of his "last" summer, Finn invites a friend to the cottage and is drawn to a strange island that seems to glimmer - but no one else can see it. When he gets close, he's sucked into something he could never have anticipated. Can Finn's friend Cheese help him come to terms with "lights out" . . . or will it take something much more extraordinary?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781443146913
Publisher: Scholastic Canada Ltd
Publication date: 10/01/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

DAVID CARROLL is a CBC radio producer and an ultra-marathon runner with five 100-mile races under his belt. He has written short stories and radio series for NPR, as well as for numerous CBC programs including Canada Reads, GO, Sounds Like Canada, and The Arts Today. His first novel, Ultra, was a Silver Birch Award finalist and won the 2013 Cybil Award for Middle-Grade Fiction. David has guided several blind runners on marathons and sections of an end-to-end Bruce Trail run. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit David Carroll at

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Sight Unseen

Here’s your latest update: I now had 4.594 million seconds left in the summer. And then there was that bigger number: 5 years.

“That’s just the doctor’s estimate,” Mom said. “You might have a lot more time than that.”

“I might have less time too,” I said.

I was at the clinic for my fourth appointment in three weeks. Both of my parents came along, which was suspicious. Dad never came to those things.

After ninety minutes of eye drops and flashing lights, Dr. Zhang led me into a small room. “Wait here

while I speak with your parents,” she said.

“They’re my eyes,” I said. “Don’t I get to hear?”

Half an hour later, in the car driving home, I still didn’t have a clue what was going on. Mom and Dad were in the front seat, saying zilch.

“I need glasses, don’t I?” I asked.


A Note from David Caroll:

My best friend got some terrible news when he was 13. After visiting the eye doctor, he was told he had Stargardt’s disease; a rare eye condition that would leave him blind by the age of 18.

At the time, my friend loved playing soccer, riding his bike, and jamming in a garage band. But as his vision deteriorated, he gave those hobbies up. He worried that he’d never get a girlfriend. He suffered depression, panic attacks, and eventually dropped out of school altogether.

That was the first inspiration for Sight Unseen. The second one was Muriel Leeson’s classic Oranges and UFO. I adored that book as a kid. I remember being captivated by Leeson’s idea of a land where time didn’t pass.

When I put those two ideas together, I had the main plot of Sight Unseen. A 13-year-old boy (Finn) is losing his eyesight, and is understandably terrified of the future, but then he discovers a portal to Perpetuum—a place in the mountains where time stands still. There, Finn gets to be a ‘normal’ kid again—for as long as he wants. Perhaps even forever.

Of course, magic always comes with a price, and Finn must eventually choose between his eyesight and his friends. Once he chooses, there’s no going back.

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