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The last wild
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In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he's told there's something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he's finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester's help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 3-7- In a future where masses of animals have died from a terrible virus, 12-year-old Kestor Jaynes has been locked away for years in a home for troubled children. Kestor, who hasn't spoken since his mother's death, discovers one day that he has a voice that only animals can hear. Escaping from his prison with the help of a cockroach and a flock of pigeons, Kestor is led to a small enclave of animals that have somehow survived the terrible disease. Believing that the boy can find a way to defeat the disease, a wise stag, an enthusiastic wolf cub, and a tough girl named Polly team up with Kestor in an attempt to save the last of the wild creatures. This title has moments of real tension, though it does feel a little long at times, with the plotting stumbling a bit. Narrator Oliver Hembrough provides identifiable voices for the fairly large cast of characters, and his voice for Kestor is believable and inviting. The audio's pacing throughout is very good and will easily pull listeners through some of the slower sections. This is a solid title for younger readers interested in dystopian fiction who may not quite be ready for some of the darker stories available.-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
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 Copyright 2014 Booklist
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