Outside by Sarah Ann Juckes

cover image

Penguin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780241330753.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Since she was little, Ele was held in a cell like room by a man called 'Him'. Her twin brother, Zeb, was also in the cell with her. With nearly nothing to do, Ele started to imagine things. Gradually, her imagination became so real that she thinks that they're real. Including thinking that there are 'Others' in the room with her, and there was simply no 'Outside'.
Juckes painted an intriguing picture of the 'Inside' and was constantly asking the question 'Would you think there is an outside if you haven't seen it?' Ele was initially a scared, fearful character. She liked the inside and didn't want to escape. But over time she developed bravery and determination. She became curious and kept asking questions.
The style of the book was mainly imagery, with wonders and imaginative chapters. Juckes' description of the inside world was initially hard to understand, and I initially thought that the characters were animals. But gradually the book became easier to grasp.
Overall, the events were engaging, the setting is intriguing, the storyline is well developed, and I would recommend the book.
Kaibing Qi, (Student)