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November 2016 Book of the Month
In a nutshell: the unbeatable power of the imagination | Piers Torday’s beautifully written book is an extraordinary allegory, a story of courage and love, and of the life-affirming importance of stories. It’s Christmas Eve and Mouse, his sisters and mum are driving across the snowy moors to his grandparents’ house when their car plunges off the road. Thrown clear Mouse begins a journey for help, but as a knight in one of the fantasy stories that mean so much to him in real life. It’s an epic journey too, full of strange characters, friends and enemies alike, and despite the dreamlike atmosphere the reader is never in any doubt as to how dangerous it is, or how much depends on Mouse reaching the castle. Not many books change readers’ views of the world, this might be one of them. ~ Andrea Reece
Eleven-year-old Mouse is travelling to see his grandparents on Christmas Eve with his mother and two sisters. But it's snowing, and visibility is bad, and the car goes off the road, and crashes. Mouse is thrown from the car. When he wakes, he's not in his world any more. He meets a sheep named Bar, who can only say Baaa, and a sarcastic horse named Nonky, who is a surprising mix of his beloved toy horse and his older sister. So begins a quest to find a castle in a world of wonder - a world of monsters, minstrels, dangerous knights and mysterious wizards; a world of terrifying danger but also more excitement than Mouse has ever known.
But why are they looking for a castle? As the cold grows, we realise it might just have something to do with the family he's left behind; and that Mouse's quest is more important than ever. This is a novel about love and death. It's about the power of stories to change the way we view the world - and it's about the power of a child to change their own world.
Emotionally arresting but ultimately uplifting, this is a remarkable novel for our times.
Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.
Praise for The Last Wild trilogy
Gripping, original and memorable Francesca Simon
Written in vivid and urgent style ... As thrilling as James and the Giant Peach ... The Last Wild may be as critical to the new generation as Tarka the Otter The Times
A must-read: brings to mind the smarts and silliness of Roald Dahl New York Post
An excellent, punchy adventure tale with vivid characters and an impassioned eco message Financial Times
Wildly inventive, moving and gripping ... full of suspense without ever sacrificing warmth The Guardian
A whimsical yet thoughtful tale that brings to mind the smarts and silliness of Roald Dahl and Norton Juster New York Post
Torday's story is alternately sombre, thrilling, and silly, filled with eccentric human and animal characters with distinctive voices Publishers Weekly
|Publication date:||6th October 2016|
|Publisher:||Quercus Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 2|
|Topics:||Adventure Stories, Death / Bereavement, Fantasy / Magical|
Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The third book in the trilogy, The Wild Beyond, was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. His next book for children, There May Be a Castle, was published in October 2016. In regular demand as a speaker at schools and festivals, Piers is also a ...More About Piers Torday