The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget

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The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget

Title: The End of the Wild
By: Helget, Nicole
Published: 2017
Call #: J Helge.N

Many realistic middle grade novels try to tackle complex issues and do it quite well.  Add to the list of successful titles The End of the Wild, a heartfelt look (for grades 4 and up) at an 11-year-old girl named Fern who lives near a forest and loves the animals, plants, and natural foods she finds there.  Fern is a lively and sensitive central character, very compelling and relatable.  And what makes this story especially strong is the supporting cast, all well-developed in novelist Nicole Helget’s capable hands, especially Fern’s beloved yet very troubled stepfather.  There’s a potent sense of place; the story feels lived-in and real.  In a sensitive manner, the book looks at poverty with Fern foraging for food to feed her family.  When she hears that a fracking company wants to build on a nearby land, Fern feels extreme concern because it will affect the nature so close to her heart.  Helget deepens the conflict when Fern’s stepfather, in desperate need for work, considers a job with the company.  The End of the Wild moves surprisingly fast, and although there are some very sad moments, the novel has a warm heart without being maudlin.


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