Kid’s Book Review: Wild

Kid’s Book Review: Wild

About the Book and Author

From eco-conscious children’s writer Ele Fountain is a story about a boy called Jack who finds a true friend in the middle of the rainforest. Before his mum suggested he accompany her on her conservation trip for work he had been unhappy. He had been struggling ever since his dad died and had fallen in with the wrong crowd, skipping school and causing trouble to try to fit in with them.

Although Jack was an unwilling traveller at the beginning, the trip soon turns into an adventure during which he learns to recognise the qualities that make a good friend.

Wild is a story about the catastrophic effects of deforestation but it is also a story about friendship and being strong enough to make the right decisions.

It will be published by Pushkin Press in early May 2023. We recommend it for readers aged 10-13 years




Wild cover
Ele Fountain

Ele Fountain worked as an editor in children’s publishing where she helped launch and nurture the careers of many prize-winning and bestselling authors. Ele’s debut novel, Boy 87, won four awards and was nominated for nine more, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and Lost won the 2021 Portsmouth Book Award.

She is also the author of Melt and Fake. Click on the links to read our reviews by kids.


Book Review

This book is about a boy, his emotions and an adventure

Jack’s dad has died, he misses classes at school, and he is caught between two different groups of friends. One group of “friends” is a gang of mean boys who do lots of horrible things like throwing stones to break windows in houses. He started hanging around with them and now he can’t stop even though he sort of knows they aren’t really his friends. I think they treat him like dirt on their shoes. His other friends are into football and at one point in the story they have a party, and they get loads of snacks and watch the football together and they do a sweepstakes for money. They treat him kindly.

Since his dad died, he’s felt like a puppet, like he’s not actually in control of what he’s doing.

His mum tricks him into going away with her. She tells him it is a holiday, but it turns out to be for her work in the Rainforest. When he finds out at the airport he gets really annoyed and shouts at her and then doesn’t speak to her for the rest of the journey. When they arrive, he tries to run away because he is really angry with his mum. He feels like just an extra piece of luggage.

It turns out that his mum’s work is really dangerous! While they are in the Rainforest, he makes a really good friend called Pakoyai. The adventure that they have, and her friendship help him to become a better person. When he goes back home he wants to make up for his bad behaviour and stops hanging out with the gang of mean boys.

He is happy and no longer feels like a puppet. He is in control of his emotions, feelings and actions.

At the beginning of the story I didn’t really like Jack. I thought that he was bad and I was worried about the dangerous things he was doing. But as I dug deeper I started to really enjoy the story and quickly began to understand why he was doing the things he was doing.

Many of the lessons in this book are about friendship. For example, friends shouldn’t make you feel like you have to do what they say in order to be their friend, and also that sometimes you can make friends in unexpected places.

I really enjoyed when he went to the Rainforest and he helped his mum prove that the Loggers were causing damage to the Rainforest and also deforestation.

This book is perfect for older children who like adventure stories and are interested in stories about the environment (and stopping deforestation). I’m really glad I got to read it, because it’s really different from the stories I usually read.

PS. I don’t think I would have ever read this book if I hadn’t been sent it to review. The blurb made it seem like a story that I wouldn’t really like, and it did feel a bit old for me at the beginning but I am so glad that I did get to read it and before anyone else!



If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

Lyra young reviewer
  • Name: Lyra
  • Age: 10 years
  • Likes: reading, drawing and writing
  • Dislikes: being quiet and standing still
  • Favourite Book: Anything by Robin Stevens
  • Favourite Film: Nancy Drew
  • Favourite Song: Look at What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift