The Children’s Book Review | May 17, 2017
Written by Joe Beernink
Age Range: 14 and up
Papaerback: 302 pages
Publisher: Harper Trophy
What to expect: Adventure, Dystopic, Thriller, Survival
In the far reaches of Canada, Izzy and her sister are trying to survive. A horrific flu pandemic has killed everyone they knew – including their parents. So when a neighbor offers to help them, they go along with him. He knows how to survive in the harsh woods, and the nearly abandoned city is too dangerous to stay in. But when Izzy’s sister is killed, it leaves Rick and Izzy alone. Surviving during the harsh winter in sub-zero temperatures is made all the worse as Izzy realizes that Rick wants more than to keep her safe. He wants her for his own.
Jake and his family were abandoned out in the Bush months ago when no plane came to pick them up from their rural cabin. After his father disappears while looking for help, Jake sets out to find him.
When Izzy and Jake cross paths, Jake sees her horrific plight and rescues her from Rick. They’ll journey across the treacherous terrain back to their hometown of Thompson, but it’s not just bears and wolves they have to worry about. Rick is furious at Izzy’s escape, and he’s out for blood. Can Jake and Izzy make it to safety before nature, or Rick, get them killed?
Joe Beernink is an enormously talented writer. I finished the book in two days flat and immediately wanted to read the next book. The writing is flawless. Izzy’s voice really came through, and your heart ached for her in her horrific situation.
One consideration for readers would be the molestation plot point, which may be upsetting to some readers. However, I did think it was handled with care. But because of this, the book might be a better choice for older teens.
The setting, although familiar here in the western world, is completely foreign to most readers. It’s absolutely entrancing to read about the wild forest, or Bush, that lies just outside civilization. Jake and Izzy are both excellent survivors, and the book really shows Beernink’s attention to detail. Whether it be the type of guns the characters use to hunt, how to field dress a deer or how to smoke meat, Jake and Izzy live in a completely realistic and somewhat terrifying (yet at times, beautiful) setting. There were no easy answers here. The characters must kill, or be killed. Extremely high stakes make this book a gripping read. Highly recommended.
About Joe Beernink
JOE BEERNINK grew up in rural Southwestern Ontario, and graduated from York University with a B.Sc. in Space and Communication Science. He currently makes his living as a software developer near Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his wife and two children. He blogs about his writing and his life at joebeernink.com.
Read our exclusive interview: Author Joe Beernink Discusses ‘Nowhere Wild’ and Writing Books
Nowhere Wild, by Joe Beernink, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Nowhere Wild by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Adventure, Survival, Thrillers, and Young Adult Fiction.