Loved it! 😍

Join two twins on an unusual journey of discovery in this lithe and lively read set in the Shetland Islands.

Living at the edge of the world is… “different,” as two twelve year-old siblings find out in this heartwarming story of adventure, courage, friendship, and self-discovery.


When Tabitha and her brother Timothy arrive on the remote Shetland Islands of Scotland while their parents go on a world cruise, the twelve year-old twins aren’t exactly turning cartwheels. The prospect of spending the winter with a great uncle they’ve never met isn’t exactly spinning their fins, either.


Tabitha is out of sorts because the island’s remote location means limited WIFI. It’s a place where hashtags, TikSnap and social media aren’t really a thing. But Timothy is delighted to uncover the island’s natural secrets. When they start school on the island, the twins soon realize they are not the only newcomers.


This a well-written, sturdy story with solid writing and an engaging plot. You can almost feel the chill wind and taste the Atlantic sea spray. The action skims along briskly as readers join twins Tabitha and Timothy for explorations into the history, culture, customs, and language of Shetland. Readers are also introduced to the local dialect as well as the history of Shetland and Scotland dating back to the 15th century. Tucked into the story are fascinating tidbits about the island’s customs, culture, terrain, food, festivals, flora and fauna. Much more.


Perhaps the best part of this lithe and supple read is watching Tabitha grow. She slowly sheds her self-absorbed, prima donna persona like a wizened old snakeskin and becomes a more nature and sensitive person. Whereas prior to her arrival on the island Tabitha was all about herself and her TikSnap account, she slowly learns to broaden her horizons, especially after meeting another new kid at school, Omar. When Tabitha's videos of life on the remote island start gaining traction on social media, Tabitha uses her camera to foil…. Oh, wait. You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out what happens next.


Maps of the island drawn by both Tabitha and Timothy are included. So is a glossary of Useful Shetland Vocabulary so you don’t get lost.


This is a lively story that will appeal to its target audience of children ages nine to twelve. Cheers enoo!

REVIEWED BY  Kristine L.

Lifelong bibliophile. Library Board Member. Select book reviews featured on my blog and Goodreads, etc. I'm a frank but fair reviewer, averaging 400+ books/year in a Wide Variety of genres on multiple platforms. Over 1,000 published reviews.

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers’ Favorite

Author S.J. Barratt pens a very wholesome and captivating series that is highly entertaining and educational. Readers learn about the intricate and fascinating customs, culture, and traditions of Papala in a fun and exciting storyline. I loved learning about the island’s Viking history, the Scottish dialect, and the annual celebrations that broadened my knowledge. Children of all ages will learn about the diversity of the world around them and the differences that exist. They learn that differences between people do not have to be bad, but can be good and interesting. Barratt expertly draws young readers into an enchanting world of rich history in Living at the Edge of the World: Winter.

Author Spotlight: S. J. Barratt about ‘Living at the Edge of the World’


By: Luka


"A sweet book full of lively characters. The adventures of Timothy and Tabatha are dynamic and varied, the messages behind bring a deeper meaning, which is rare for a children's book"   Joshua Turrel, Dundee - Scotland


"It is a lovely story, fun to read, AND you learn a lot about Shetland on the journey”, Agnès Clo, Lyon -  France