One part family drama, one part action-adventure; this is the children's novel we've been waiting for from Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle!
A novel of mothers lost and found. Grainne's Mom disappeared years ago when her parents were divorced, and Mom moved to the U.S. Now, bafflingly, she's reappeared and wants to meet. What could she be up to?
To get out of the way of this mysterious reunion, Grainne's half-brothers, Johnny and Tom, go with their mother, Sandra, on an "adventure holiday" in Finland. But before they're more than a few days into the snowy north, the boys are separated from Sandra, taking impossible risks to save her life. WILDERNESS is part-adventure, part-family drama with a charm that's all Roddy.
|Age Range:||11 - 15 Years|
About the Author
Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1958, Roddy Doyle has become one of the most renown and celebrated Irish authors of the late twentieth century. Doyl received his Bachelor of Arts from St. Finian’s Christian Brothers School in Sutton and went on to University College, Dublin. Upon the completion of his education, Roddy Doyle worked as a Geography and English teacher in Kilbarrack, North Dublin.
Roddy Doyle’s adult novel, Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha, a story about a ten-year old boy living Ireland, won Doyle the Booker Prize, the United Kingdom’s greatest literary honor.
Roddy Doyle lives in Ireland with his wife, Belinda and their two children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a quick paced adventure story. It's easy to read, although American students may need some background information on Irish terms. Teachers can use this book as a lesson opportunity about Finland. I think the author in his desire to explain why the older sister can't go on the trip, takes away from the boys' story by the sub-plot involving her estranged mother. It would have been simpler to explain she had school exams and had to stay behind, and then give the entire focus of the book to the boys' adventure. While the boys' portion of the story was fulfilling, I felt the sister's story was rushed--as though he had to tie up what was happening with her back home just because the boys were done. If the author had omitted the sister's story, he may have been able to put a bit more background or cultural information in about Finland and Lapland to enrich the story. But, I think most middle schoolers will enjoy this book and will be able to get through it with ease.
Ten-year-old Tom Griffin and his older brother, twelve-year-old Johnny, live in Dublin, Ireland, with their parents and a teenaged half-sister, Grainne. Grainne has not seen or heard from her mother since she was a baby, and now her mother is coming from America for a visit. Grainne is nervous about the visit. Will seeing her mother heal the hurt of being abandoned by this woman?
The boys' mother, Sandra, decides to take the boys somewhere else during the visit by Grainne's mother, and arranges a holiday in Finland for herself and the boys. They are going to have a grand adventure. This story is told in alternating chapters as Tom and Johnny become acquainted with sled dogs and their handler and then go off into the wilderness on an exciting dog sled ride to a remote lodge. And as Grainne nervously waits for the arrival of her birth mother.
The boys are excited about the chance to help feed and water the sled dogs, and to help with camp chores. They are having a grand time, until their mother disappears. Her lead dog is a rogue who decides to go his own way, and she becomes lost in the cold, snowy uninhabited forest. It is dark, and the sled tips over and injures Sandra. She can't get back on the sled, or get the dogs under control.
The boys decide to take a team of dogs and sled and search for their mother on their own, and they sneak out of the lodge and harness the dogs. It's dark and cold, with deep snow, and the trail is not clear, but their lead dog seems to know where he is going...or does he?
Tween readers can relate to the realistic characters and their emotions as Roddy Doyle tells this dramatic story in sparse, simple language, while keeping the tension high. With the rowdy rambunctious boys and their adventure in Finland, the frantic search for their mother, and the angst of a teenaged girl meeting the mother who abandoned her, there is something for everyone in this exciting story.