Center for Children's Literature Blog

Children’s Book Committee – May 2024 Pick

At the End of the World
Author: Nadia Mikail

If the world were about to end, how and with whom would you spend your remaining days? Set in Malaysia; a profound, universal exploration of grief and zest for life.

At the End of the World by Nadia Mikail beautifully explores the journey of coming to terms with one’s emotions. Aisha, the protagonist, struggles with her emotions after her father dies and her sister leaves home. With the world ending, she’s forced to focus on what’s truly important to her–her family and friends–and sets out on a journey to reconnect with her sister.

Mikail poignantly describes Aisha’s complicated relationship with her feelings and how it impacts her relationships with her family and friends. Aisha’s struggles were written in a way that felt relatable to me, even though my experiences vastly differ from hers. Mikail also wonderfully immersed her readers in Malaysian culture. She made me feel like I was walking through the cities of Malacca and Ipoh and eating all kinds of delicious foods with the characters.

Additionally, the author was able to write a nonlinear timeline that seamlessly flowed in a way that enhanced my understanding of the characters. Ultimately, I loved this book because it honestly described the challenges we face on the path to forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance.”

–Vimala, age 16, Queens, NY.

Young people who are interested in reviewing are invited to do so as we welcome the individual perspective of our age appropriate readers. If you are interested in being a reviewer, contact

See our Monthly Picks Archive 2012–2018, and our Monthly Picks 2019–present.