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1001 Stories Collection

The Last Wild

Added on 15th June 2020

Author Piers Torday
First published 2013
Publisher Quercus Children's Books

Adventure and opportunity Animals Environment and habitat

An adventure story with a strong environmental theme. A novel ideal for upper primary school children.

Story

Kester is a mute twelve-year old boy who lives on “The Island” in a school for troubled children. A mysterious “red-eye” virus has killed all of the animals in the world. Kester believes something is wrong with him and this belief is confirmed when he finds a talking cockroach and then meets a flock of talking pigeons. The pigeons break him out of the school and take him thousands of miles away to meet a group of animals who have survived in hiding and who think that Kester can save them from the virus.

Why we chose it

The Last Wild was one of the stories featured in our 2016 Animal exhibition. It is a story with a strong environmental message and is widely admired for its imagination, warmth and suspense.

Where it came from

Piers Torday booked himself onto a writing course at Ted Hughes’s old house on the Yorkshire moors where he started to write about Kester’s adventures. The Last Wild grew out of Piers Torday’s love for animals and animal stories, and his concern about species disappearing from the wild. His interest in wildlife may come from growing up in Northumberland where he says “more animals live than people.”

Where it went next

The Last Wild won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. It has been published in 14 other countries.

Associated stories

The Last Wild is the first book in a trilogy. The Dark Wild followed in 2014 and The Wild Beyond in 2015

His other books for children include There May Be A Castle, The Lost Magician and The Frozen Sea.

Added on 15th June 2020

Author Piers Torday
First published 2013
Publisher Quercus Children's Books

Adventure and opportunity Animals Environment and habitat