Lest we do ourselves in first with some nuclear holocaust there are any number of ways our planet can end—all perhaps as terrible, some more fascinating and beautiful to contemplate than others…. There is only one certainty: the world will end.
In order to understand why we can be so assured of an end, [in "The End of the World"] Franklyn Branley traces the evolution of the earth, sun and moon from their hypothetical births to the present and predicts possible futures, none of which are optimistic. [The text is controlled and clearly developed.]…
Branley consoles us with the knowledge that each of these potential catastrophes is billions of years away. Perhaps by then we will have colonies on other planets in other solar systems…. Meanwhile he helps us picture the incomprehensible, which is the strength of this book—providing the reader a solid precipice to stand on while surveying The End of the World.
Joan Levine, "For Young Readers: 'The End of the World'," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1975 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), March 2, 1975, p. 8.