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08 December 2014

Wildlife

Wildlife by Fiona Wood is the story of a semester spent in the woods.

Crowthrone Grammar high school in Melbourne, Australia sends kids to live in the woods for one semester, the equivalent their sophomore year. They still have to take classes, but the focus is on getting in shape and learning to survive outdoors. Each student has to complete overnight hikes and one solo overnight.

Sibylla Quinn will be joining classmates, a couple she has known since kindergarten, living in the woods for nine weeks. She has never been overly popular, but due to a new ad campaign that put her picture on billboards around town, she will come to the attention of the most popular guy in school.

Louisa is new to Crowthorne and is hoping the setting and group of people will help her move on from the death of her best friend. She is not looking forward to meeting new people, but her therapist is hopeful.

Wood has written a well-crafted novel of coming of age and the meaning of friendship. Readers will alternately like and loath characters as Sib and Lou find their place in the world. Wildlife has been short-listed for a few Australian teen book awards.

Wood, Fiona. (2013). Wildlife. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

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