Celebrated by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Children’s Book of the Year, Wild Things is Clay Carmichael’s stunning debut novel. Following the death of her mentally ill mother, 11-year-old Zoë moves to North Carolina to live with her uncle, a metal sculptor named Henry. It doesn’t take long for the sharp-tongued Zoë to warm to some of the town’s eccentric residents, including a woods dwelling teenager, who helps Zoë in unexpected ways.
“Carmichael uses a sure, light touch to portray the gradual blooming of trust among the story’s many wild things in this satisfying tale.” (Booklist)
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Beautiful Story, Soothing Narration
Nominated for California Young Reader Medal
Zoe, who is eleven years old, has had a hard life already. She hasn’t grown up with a lot of motherly affection or concern, and she has had to deal with a number of her mother’s boyfriends stealing her mother’s attention over the years as well.
When Zoe’s mother dies, her Uncle Henry takes her in, but Zoe is not sure what she thinks about the arrangement. Having been left to her own devices all her life has made Zoe very independent and capable; she knows how to take care of herself, but she is not sure if she can ever bring herself to trust anyone else.
Adults in her life have not really panned out, is Uncle Henry up for the challenge of a wild thing like Zoe?
If you enjoy books with characters facing a challenging family situation, you might also like Waiting for Normal, by Leslie Connor, or Guitar Boy, by M.J. Auch.