Outside Nowhere

Outside Nowhere
Age Range
Release Date
October 18, 2022
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This middle grade novel follows one boy's summer adventure at a peculiar farm in the middle of nowhere.

Charming and funny, Parker Kelbrook can wriggle out of anything he doesn’t want to do. So when he’s forced to take a job at the local pool—a threat to his beach-filled summer plans—he comes up with the perfect prank to get himself fired.

Once Parker’s father catches wind of his latest scheme, he decides enough is enough, and Parker is sent halfway across the country to work on a farm alongside five other kids who aren't his biggest fans. As Parker learns to roll up his sleeves and keep his head down, strange things start happening. And after he awakens one morning to find a seventeen-hundred-pound dairy cow on the roof of a barn, he suspects that something magical and mysterious is growing in the farm’s fields.

Editor review

1 review
A Must Read!
(Updated: August 18, 2023)
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OUTSIDE NOWHERE by Adam Borba is a MG story that follows Parker Kelbrook, a kid unafraid of a prank as long as it gets him what he wants. After his latest stunt, Parker's dad is frustrated with his behavior and sends him off to a farm to straighten out for the summer. Parker, unaccustomed to physical labor, is totally out of his element. As he tries to fit in and fails, he not only makes enemies of the other boys there, but he also starts noticing weird occurrences. Once Parker finally realizes what’s actually going on, his attitude does a complete 180 and he’s able to reckon with his own grief, which is actually what was making him act out in the first place.

While the subject matter and theme of the story sound deep and serious, this book is a ton of fun. From the first page, I was hooked. The voice is fresh and captivating, and Parker, despite being difficult, is a lovable main character. I was rooting for him the entire story and often laughed at his surprising quips and jokes. In fact, Parker is such a strong lead, I could see him having his own series, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Amelia Bedelia.

The setting itself is also literally and figuratively magical. Borba does a great job with visual storytelling, so much so that I could really picture everything. I suspect this has a lot to do with Borba’s background in filmmaking, and I could easily see this book as a movie. There are a lot of great dynamic elements between the teatime with Parker's mentor-of-sorts, the actual work of planting and harvesting the radishes, and then, the big discovery. It’s also perfectly paced.

Overall, OUTSIDE NOWHERE is the right blend of every element: fantasy matched with reality, stubbornness matched with heart, and city matched with country. This story has something appealing for people of all ages, and at its core, the takeaway message is one that can touch and impact all. I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR!
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