A charming and sweet story that shows what lengths a child will go to to protect the ones she loves. . . poignant yet adventurous. . . the heart of the story lies in Henna’s devotion to her fathers and finding the strength to allow others to help her when she has only known how to fend for herself. . . . Very appealing and rich with touching moments alongside innocent adventure. Readers will become friends with Henna and share in her growth while being thoroughly entertained.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
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.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The tale is a appealing blend of quirky, magical, and deeply heartfelt, with characters who unflinchingly face friendship, grief and loss; when it finds the right reader, it’s going to sit as a cozy pleasure.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Humor and a suspenseful adventure balance the sensitive, aching exploration of loss. . . . Dairman’s careful use of details sets up an emotionally fulfilling, bittersweet resolution. A coming-of-age story blossoming with tender honesty and hope.
Issues of disability accessibility, gender identity, and grief and loss figure heavily, yet naturally, in the intertwined storylines. . . . Readers intrigued by the wonders of the natural world will find a kindred spirit in Henna, whose determination and unwavering love for her papas propel this story to its dynamic conclusion.
—The Horn Book
Henna’s is an endearing and compassionate tale in a richly rendered, slightly fantastical world with skillfully crafted story lines around conservation, sacrifices, and grief. Readers will root for Hanna as she grows new peer relationships while nurturing an enduring love for her fathers.
A tender-hearted middle grade novel. . . Especially powerful are the depictions of Henna’s friends, P and Lora, and their experiences as gender-fluid and disabled children, respectively. They are shown as whole people not in need of fixing, while illustrating the ways that the structures of society can make their everyday lives uncomfortable or difficult. There are no true villains here, as even the antagonists are treated with similarly empathetic nuance.
—School Library Connection
The Girl from Earth’s End is a lushly written, heart-filling story about deep-rooted family, sprouting friendship, and flowering understanding. Young readers will love jumping on the orange boat with Henna on her quest to save her beloved papa.
—Rajani LaRocca, author of the Newbery Honor Book Red, White, and Whole
Dairman at her best and most lyrical. A true journey of the heart! The Girl from Earth’s End blooms with warmth, light, and deep-rooted love. Words sparkle and grow on every page. Readers won’t soon forget this book.
—Ingrid Law, author of the Newbery Honor Book Savvy
This book is a masterpiece. With a story that grabs you and doesn’t let go, a lush setting that ignites your imagination, and characters who will live in your heart long after you close the book, The Girl from Earth’s End will transport you to a different world—one where you’ll laugh, cry . . . and won’t want to leave.
—Ann Braden, award-winning author of The Benefits of Being an Octopus and Opinions and Opossums
Prepare yourself for an enchanting journey full of humor and heart. The Girl from Earth’s End will charm and captivate readers—a classic in the making.
—Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, New York Times best-selling author of the Book Scavenger series and Sisterhood of Sleuths
Richly imagined and beautifully detailed, The Girl from Earth’s End expertly weaves contemporary themes into a timeless, heartfelt tale that not only transports the reader but transforms them. A breathtaking gem of a book.
—Elaine Vickers, award-winning author of Like Magic and Half-Moon Summer
This book made my heart grow. Henna’s courage, resilience, and determination are an inspiration for any reader facing changes and challenges in life. Full of lyrical language and hope, The Girl from Earth’s End is a testament to the eternal loyalty, heartbreaking limits, and boundless possibilities of friendship, family, and love.
—Jessica Lawson, award-winning author of Nooks & Crannies and Waiting for Augusta
12-year-old Henna leaves her home on the tiny island of Earth's End to attend an elite botanical academy, secretly hoping she will find a ‘nightwalker’ plant that could save her dying father, in this wondrous tale of family, loss and healing by Colorado author Tara Dairman. Dairman conjures a marvelous world and backstory.
—The Buffalo News
Henna is set on securing a rare plant located at an elite botanical boarding school in order to heal one of her dads. Transport to a world full of plants, whimsical and tender friendships, as well as heart-wrenching exploration of dealing with the illness of a parent in this special book. A great choice for the environmentally-minded.
—The East Bay Times
‘The Girl From Earth’s End’ by Tara Dairman is an uplifting story about friendship, joy, grief, and acceptance.
—The Midland Daily News
Gr 3–7—Twelve-year-old Henna has lived her entire life on the tiny island of Earth's End in the Gardenia Isles. Once renowned for its abundance of orange groves, the islands are now mostly barren and sparsely populated. Her island was once the home of the monastery of St. Hortense, horticulturalists who devoted their work to collecting and cataloging the native plant life. Henna came to the island on the Orange Boat, an old vessel that makes the island circuit delivering mail and supplies, as an infant in a box. Old Manol, the ship's captain, delivered the infant to inhabitants of Earth's End, who came to be Henna's papas; fair-skinned, artistic Niall and strong, dark-skinned Joaquim. Growing up with just her papas on the island means she is quite adept at gardening, growing, and harvesting food. Joaquim fishes while Niall paints and makes their home comfortable. Henna's life is content until one of her papas falls critically ill. Henna consults an old island book of plants that could unlock the secret to curing him. But to prepare the cure, she must leave the island and her parents to attend St. Basil's Conservatory School, where a secret seed repository could hold the only means to save Papa Niall. A charming and sweet story that shows what lengths a child will go to to protect the ones she loves. Henna's journey to find a cure for her papa is poignant yet adventurous. The characters she meets along the way are diverse and entertaining, from her genderfluid friend P to the quirky staff at St. Basil's. Yet the heart of the story lies in Henna's devotion to her fathers and finding the strength to allow others to help her when she has only known how to fend for herself. Filled with gardening vocabulary and information, it may inspire readers to pick up a spade and grow something wonderful. Although the location is fictional, Dairman's afterword mentions that her inspiration came from the people of the Azores Islands, off the coast of Portugal. Henna is depicted with dark hair, and light brown skin. VERDICT Very appealing and rich with touching moments alongside innocent adventure. Readers will become friends with Henna and share in her growth while being thoroughly entertained.—Carol Connor
A girl with a green thumb uproots herself from her isolated island home in search of a rare plant to cure her dying papa.
Twelve years ago, the Orange Boat (which hasn’t carried oranges since the Great Soil Blight) brought an unexpected delivery to Earth’s End, a forgotten corner of the Gardenia Isles. Neither of Henna’s papas expected to receive a baby in the mail. Henna knows all about her family’s story, and she thought she knew everything about Papa Niall and Papa Joaquim too until she discovers seasonal allergies aren’t what’s making Papa Niall sick this year but the resurgence of a terminal illness. Determined to save him, Henna embarks on a secret mission at St. Basil’s Conservatory, an elite horticulture boarding school where she hopes to find and steal from a heavily guarded repository the last remaining seeds of the nightwalker, a plant rumored to produce a miracle healing elixir. Humor and a suspenseful adventure balance the sensitive, aching exploration of loss. Sun-bronzed, dark-haired Henna lives in a racially diverse world. Henna; her genderfluid friend, P; and their roommate, Lora, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, face various barriers of accessibility at the school. Each of them has their own goals, but they learn to affirm and ally with one another to challenge injustice. Dairman’s careful use of details sets up an emotionally fulfilling, bittersweet resolution.
A coming-of-age story blossoming with tender honesty and hope. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 8-12)