By Piers Torday
eBook reviewGoodreads Synopsis:
In a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he's told there's something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he's finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester's help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?
As I was browsing what to read next, I came upon a review that said this book was a must read for any students in grades 4-8. As a Librarian, I am always on the prowl for books that will inspire my students to discover new adventures. The cover did not appear to be engaging me, and yet, I considered that the plot might be worth my investigation. Even though I am learning to engage with an eBook, I knew that there was a character awaiting my discovery.
"My story begins with me sitting on a bed, looking out the window. I know that doesn't sound like much. But let me tell you where the bed is..." A great hook, right! The world has been changed and Kester has been put into Spectrum Hall Academy for Challenging Children. At this point in his life, Kester knows, "...what the words mean. I know how to write them. I just can't say them. Not since Mum died." You will discover why Kester was taken from his home in the middle of the night. You will learn that being secluded in a lock-up and given only a horrifying "formula" for food causes Kester to make friends with cockroach, moths, pigeons and finally the Stag (my favorite character by the way, although I have a fondness for the wolf pup too).
So life is miserable for Kester, probably like you could imagine. Yet, Kester's story leads you on a journey where the "forks" along the way leads back to his home. The journey is not an easy one. To begin with, no one argues with Facto the maker of the "formula" and the school that Kester is locked in. One day the animals began to die, then the bees, fish, and birds. Facto decided that all the crops needed to be destroyed and people began dying. The disease became known as the "Red Eye," since by the time your eyes turned red you were a goner. That's why Kester, "...became a genuine freak, mute, with only varmints for friends."
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to think-talk to animals? Kester discovers this ability just about the time that a rescue has been issued to help save the animals. The twist is that humans aren't the ones that realize Kester's worth. Well maybe one girl knows that there is hope in Kester and his father.
Every turn of the page leads you into danger, into a gathering of animals who will protect Kester along his journey home. You know sometimes friends are only in our lives just long enough to take our journey past a challenge... these characters will plant the seeds of hope. Each one is uniquely gifted for Kester's journey. Be prepared to feel this journey! It is one to read, to ponder, to share.
Enjoy this amazing story, it won't be the last of the wild or honor,
Enjoyable reading for everyone... Will be adding to our Library shelves!
"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."