The Lake at the End of the World

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Lake at the End of the World
AuthorCaroline MacDonald
GenrePost-apocalyptic fiction
Media typePrint
AwardsVictorian Premier's Award, 1989. Australian Children's Book of the Year Award, 1989.

The Lake at the End of the World is a post-nuclear holocaust young adult novel published in 1988. Its author is Caroline MacDonald. Set in 2025, it tells the story of Hector, a teenage boy who has lived all his life in an underground bunker as the youngest member of a cult, who occasionally escapes the bunker to look outside, and Diana, a teenage girl who lives with her parents, apparently the only survivors of the nuclear holocaust. The story is told in part from Hector's perspective and from Diana's.


Won the Victorian Premier's Award, 1989. Was an Honour Book for the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award (Older Readers), 1989.[1][2][3] Shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Award, 1989.

It is suggested in the book that the lake that all the characters live by has kept them safe, as they have respected it.[4]

It has been compared to the Swiss Family Robinson in its depiction of the survival elements after the disaster.[5] The Reading Teacher praised it as "tackling weighty matters" and also "telling a story that is riveting in its realism".[6]

One of its themes is exploring the choice between living safely but in a restricted society, and living dangerously and freely.[7]


  1. ^ "The Lake at the End of the World | AustLit: Discover Australian Stories".
  2. ^ "Victorian Premier's award".
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2014-11-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Spencer, PJ 1989, 'The Lake at the End of the World (Book)', School Library Journal, 35, 9, p. 127, Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 May 2014.
  6. ^ Galda, Lee (May 1990). "The Reading Teacher Children's Books: Potpourri: Books Too Good to Miss". The Reading Teacher. 43 (9): 671. JSTOR 20200506.
  7. ^ Carrie Hintz, Elaine Ostry, ed. (2002). Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults. Routledge. pp. 218–219. ISBN 9781135373368.
  • Macdonald, Caroline (1988). The lake at the end of the world. South Yarra, Vic.: Louis Braille Books. ISBN 0140342389.