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The Resource The last wild

The last wild

Label
The last wild
Title
The last wild
Statement of responsibility
Piers Torday ; interior illustrations by Thomas Flintham
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Grades 4-6 In a world where there are no more animals (only a few rogue “varmints”), Kester Jaynes finds himself in an unusual position: a cockroach is asking him for help. Kester, who hasn’t spoken since his mother died, answers the entreaty of the cockroach (and some persuasive pigeons) and escapes to the forbidden wild, where a few animals have been hiding. It is up to Kester to save them by finding a cure for the deadly “red-eye” disease that has wiped them out. Torday weaves an intense narrative of survival and adventure akin to a sci-fi Brian Jacques tale and with great appeal to animal lovers. Underlying Kester’s wilderness exploits, however, is a story of corruption and greed, as the powerful Selwyn Stone stages a calculated takeover of society through manufactured truths and the henchmen he employs to enforce them. The plot becomes slightly repetitive at times, but overall this is an enchanted adventure with a message of empowerment and hope that ought to sweep readers along to the planned second volume. -- Smith, Julia (Reviewed 03-01-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 13, p73)
  • Gr 3 – 7 — "When the rest of the world grew too hot, and cracked open in the sun, everyone came to live on this cold grey rock." In a future world that is largely without animals because of a terrible virus, 12-year-old Kester Jaynes, who hasn't spoken since his mom died, is called by the cockroaches to help save the last enclave of wildlife from the deadly plague. At first, Torday's interesting, imaginary world seems to be full of inconsistencies, but he takes pains to make a cohesive speculative environment for the characters to develop within. The prose is extremely British, which can be a barrier for reluctant readers, and while the characterization of Kester is strong, the plotting and atmosphere fail to deliver enough peril to make this novel a true a page-turner. Nonetheless, this gentle, dystopian adventure is a good introduction for students who may not have encountered environmental morality tale tropes, such as talking animals, an epic quest, and an evil corporation out to destroy the world. A solid choice for students who are too young for Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008).—L. Lee Butler, Stoughton High School, MA --L. Lee Butler (Reviewed February 1, 2014) (School Library Journal, vol 60, issue 2, p98)
  • /* Starred Review */ In this offbeat semi-apocalyptic fantasy, debut novelist Torday introduces 12-year-old Kester Jaynes, a prisoner at Spectrum Hall Academy for Challenging Children. Kester’s world was turned upside down by the death of his mother six years earlier (he hasn’t spoken since). The larger world is in tumult, too, wrecked by global warming and “the red-eye,” which killed off most animal life and threatens humans with extinction. One day, Kester is stunned to discover he can communicate with cockroaches, pigeons, and other “varmints,” who ask him for help: “*Come with us now, Kester Jaynes. Or rot here forever. The choice is yours.*” With the aid of the varmints, Kester escapes from Spectrum Hall and learns that he is the chosen savior of “the last wild,” the few remaining animals on Earth. A sort of dystopian Winnie-the-Pooh, Torday’s story is alternately somber, thrilling, and silly, filled with eccentric human and animal characters with distinctive voices. That includes Kester—although his fellow humans see him as silent, his courage, actions, and growth speak volumes. Ages 8–12. Agent: Clare Conville, Conville & Walsh. (Mar.) --Staff (Reviewed December 16, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 50, p)
  • This fantasy journey with a post-apocalyptic setting combines a great fondness for animals with an appreciation of the freakish. Kester's spent the past six years at Spectrum Hall Academy for Challenging Children, a penal institution with a Roald Dahl vibe. Spectrum Hall jails kids who steal or eat too much. Kester hasn't spoken since his mother died, but is he imprisoned for that? Food is "bright pink gloop" that always, always tastes like prawn-cocktail crisps. The whole country eats this corporate-manufactured formula, since the red-eye virus killed all animals except useless varmints and contaminated all crops and vegetables. In this bleak environment, Kester befriends a cockroach--who, with hundreds of fellow cockroaches, busts Kester out of jail one shocking day through a fetid drain. Pigeons carry him to a "wild," a group of free wild animals in hiding. Although he can't speak aloud, Kester can communicate silently with varmints and animals. The red-eye is real, the animals are dying, and Kester must evade a murderous, stereotypically disabled bad guy and ride a majestic stag cross-country (with the cockroach and other critters) to reach his veterinarian father, who might have a cure. Present-tense narration creates immediacy and emphasizes Kester's limited knowledge. Although Kester's a classic special-kid-who-doesn't-know-it, the reserved narrative tone and tender yet peculiar view of animals give this piece its own offbeat flavor. (map) (Fantasy. 8-12)(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10301267
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1974-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Torday, Piers
Index
no index present
Intended audience
820L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 3
  • 7
Reading level
5.6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Last wild
Series volume
0001
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Boys who are mute
  • Talking animals
  • Post-apocalypse
  • Diseases
  • Human-animal communication
  • Quests
  • Corporations
  • Animals
  • Twelve-year-old boys
  • Preteen boys
  • Jaynes, Kester (Fictitious character)
Label
The last wild
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1004891
Dimensions
cm
Extent
pages
Isbn
9780670015542
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780670015542
  • (OCoLC)849719156
Label
The last wild
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1004891
Dimensions
cm
Extent
pages
Isbn
9780670015542
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780670015542
  • (OCoLC)849719156

Library Locations

    • Twin Oaks BranchBorrow it
      1800 S. Fifth St., Austin, TX, 78704, US
      30.2486884 -97.76239749999999
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