Parents' Guide to

The Last Wild

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Brave kids, animals team up in funny, scary, sweet sci-fi.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+
I borrowed The Last Wild as a talking book from a local library. My kids love animals and talking books, so I hoped it would suit them. They, and I, were not so sure to start with, and after the first chapter they did not want to go on with it. They don't generally like dark themes, and Kester's life is pretty miserable to begin with. I thought it was probably too much for them at this stage, but I kept listening and was soon hooked. Once it was clear that the creatures really could talk to Kester, and he wasn't losing his mind, there were parts of the story I wanted to tell my kids, knowing they would find them funny or otherwise enjoyable. Then they started listening with me again, from where I was up to, and pretty soon they were hooked too. Although there is a lot in the book that is grim, the heroes and their friends are wonderful - diverse, vulnerable, imperfect, funny, loyal and very brave. Due to some very long drives we heard the rest of the book this weekend. I found myself just as absorbed as the kids, caring very much how things would turn out. We were not disappointed! For my family it was important that we listened together. I think it may have been too frightening otherwise. There are many deep themes and ideas, and it has been good to talk about these along the way, and afterwards.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

You may have seen thesse elements before -- but not like this. First-time author Piers Torday is the son of Paul Torday, whose first novel -- at 60 -- was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. There's a certain family resemblance, most notably in the irrepressibly oddball sensibility that gathers wildly disparate elements that shouldn't work together at all, including a hefty dose of venerable tropes -- dystopian futures, prison-like boarding schools, hero's journeys, technologically enhanced villains, and lovable animals -- and deftly blends them into a fresh, irresistible new story. Alternately sweet, terrifying, and hysterically funny, the story presents distinctive, appealing characters, human and otherwise, facing a fast-paced onslaught of deadly perils.

While the book's publisher says it's fine for 8-year-olds, some kids -- especially tenderhearted animal lovers and those prone to nightmares -- might find it too intense: Parents die, there's a monstrous character whose crutches turn into guns and other weapons, and animals, including cute, beloved ones, meet violent deaths.

Book Details

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