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Annotation: Two sixteen-year-old girls in Australia come together at an outdoor semester of school, before university, one thinking about boys and growing up, the other about death and grief, but somehow they must help each other to find themselves.
Catalog Number: #117400
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 385 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-24208-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-93445-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-24208-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-93445-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013034979
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In this Australian import, Sibylla is dreading her high school's nine-week-long outdoor education program. So is Lou, a transfer student who's mourning the death of her soulmate, Fred (from Six Impossible Things, in which Lou and Fred fell in love). The girls are drawn together when Sib's geeky friend Michael befriends Lou. The alternating narrators' honesty and humor will keep readers engrossed.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 9 Up&12; This story takes place in the mountains outside Melbourne, Australia. Sib's class is spending a quarter of their 10th grade year at Mount Fairweather, an "outdoor education campus" of their private school. The students go on solo hiking overnight trips, have to follow chore charts, and learn to adapt to shared living spaces. Holly, Sib's best friend and a drama queen, has dominated their relationship since childhood. Sib is likable but not popular, na&9;ve but not clueless, smart but not a show-off: Why does she cling to someone this mean and insecure? When Ben Capaldi, a catch, moves in on unsuspecting Sib, she's all aflutter at first. But as she befriends Lou, a defiant newcomer, she realizes that her self-worth is all tied up in what others see and expect of her. Lou, privately battling grief and loss, isn't an easy person to know or to take advantage of; she'd rather be alone. Still, she's self-possessed; when she chooses to speak, it's through a performance of the Beatles's "Blackbird" that earns her the audience's hushed silence. Before Fairweather, Lou had another life. Memories of her first times with Fred suggests that puppy love can be the real thing; in fact, Lou and Sib relate losing their virginity with such refreshing candor that Wildlife validates the sexual needs of girls everywhere. The believable characters will win over fans of E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landua-Banks (Hyperion, 2008).&12; Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In a clever, light spin on Othello, Wood plunks pale, not-quite-pretty 16-year-old Sibylla and her scheming, firecracker frenemey, Holly, in the wilderness for an outdoors-heavy semester at their private school in Australia. In between classes and two-day hikes, Holly capitalizes on (and sometimes wholly orchestrates) Sib's growing popularity and nudges her into dating Ben, who's hot and smart but not quite right for Sib. Meanwhile, Lou, dealing with heartrending grief after the untimely death of her boyfriend, observes from a distance as Holly deviously manipulates Sib's social life. In alternating points of view u's lyrical journal entries and Sib's first-person narrative od builds a believable story of misguided friendship, betrayal, and empowering growth. Sib reluctantly compromises some of her ideals, thanks to Holly's wheedling, but she admirably reclaims the capacity to stand up for herself. Heartbroken Lou initially shuts out everyone, but she slowly lets down her walls and discovers a reservoir of inner strength. Refreshingly, Wood depicts only positive, validating sexual experiences for both Sib and Lou, in which they each have full agency over their bodies and their choices with their partners. With exceptional candor, honesty, and nuance, Wood tells a heartening and compelling story of the importance of self-confidence and true friendship.
Voice of Youth Advocates
In this beautifully executed companion novel to Six Impossible Things (Little, Brown, 2014), Australian author Wood delves into the lives of Sibylla and Lou, two sixteen-year-olds spending the semester at their school's wilderness education campus. In alternating perspectives, Sib narrates her almost-overnight ascent to popularity following a chance modeling campaign and unanticipated kiss from popular Ben Capaldi, and new girl Lou is just trying to get by after suffering a major loss. She is nonplussed to find herself sharing a cabin with optimistic Sib and her jealous friend, Holly. Despite her commitment to not caring, Lou is about to witness the betrayal unfolding in her cabin in the wilderness.Wood's understanding of teenage voice shines in this dual account of unlikely friendship. Fresh, funny, and heartbreaking, the story manages to capture the complexities of two separate coming-of-age stories and wrap them into a cohesive tale of self-reliance and honesty. Sib's hopefulness and Lou's crushing grief act as a narrative balance, as do their differing (yet frank and relevant) accounts of sex and intimacy. Wood's relatable, realistic characters will endear her to fans of Rainbow Rowell, and Sibylla's budding feminism brings to mind E. Lockhart's Frankie Landau Banks. Wildlife works as both a stand-alone, or as a companion to Six Impossible Things, and is a worthy addition to teen collections.Allison Hunter Hill.
Word Count: 69,704
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 168801 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:17.0 / quiz:Q64428
Lexile: HL800L

During a semester in the wilderness, sixteen year- old Sib expects the tough outdoor education program and the horrors of dorm life, but friendship drama and love that gets complicated? That will take some navigating.

New girl Lou has zero interest in fitting in, or joining in. Still reeling from a loss that occurred almost a year ago, she just wants to be left alone. But as she witnesses a betrayal unfolding around Sib and her best friend Holly, Lou can't help but be drawn back into the land of the living.

In this tender, funny story of first love, good friendship, and going a little bit wild, Fiona Wood introduces two unforgettable girls who discover that before you can be true to yourself, you have to figure out exactly who you are.

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