The Rewilders is an exciting middle grade novel set in the Scottish Highlands. It’s a heartfelt and thoughtful story about two children Esme and Callum. It will open up questions about re-wilding and peer pressure. Highly recommend for 9 to 12 years, who love adventure, care about environment and are looking for something a bit different.
Having loved several of Lindsay Littleson’s books I was delighted to get an advance copy. I was excited to discover it was a dual narrative novel. With individual chapters written from perspective of Callum and Esme. The dual perspective gives unique insights into each child’s life, personality and what their thinking. The characters come across as ‘gritty’ and ‘real’ and you can’t help be hooked into their personal journeys.
Esme’s mum has to go abroad for work, so she is sent to her Gran’s house in Scottish Highlands for the ‘long’ weekend. She thinks it’s going to be really boring and is upset about missing her best friend Isobel’s party (that everyone except Callum was invited to). Gran’s friend Sadie, recently fostered a boy called Callum. Gran and Sadie accidentally brought home a kitten from a trip to the large estate, except it’s not a kitten but a baby Lynx! Which as the story begins is causing havoc in Gran’s house. Slowly Esme begins to discover what Callum already knows that they two of them have been tasked with the job of returning the baby Lynx Cora to the safety of the wild reserve in the large estate. They are the most unlikely of classmates to have been given the task, but along the way they learn things about themselves and each other. It will take the kids two days to walk Cora to the reserve, including two nights wild camping.
There are several adventures along the way. Including bumping into an angry farmer who is upset that his sheep have been attacked and wonders at first if it could be Shug the dog who is also joining them on the journey. But, then he thinks he might be wolves that have escaped from the reserve. As the story unfolds the two children discover that not everyone is as keen on the Estate’s Lynx re-wilding project. The story raises some important questions about the uses of land and potential conflict between local people and conservation projects. Esme also learns some important lessons about not always judging others (i.e. Callum) by first appearances, and she begins to regret bullying him at school.
A fast paced adventure, with a dual narrative that draws the reader in, and exciting re-wilding and Scottish Highlands connections. Highly recommend for 9 to 12 years.
Read an Extract from p 5 to 6 of Rewilders by Lindsay Littleson
The scene is set with anticipation as Esme arrives at Gran’s house, below is a short extract from the story. Which I am sure will get you wanting to read more!
Mum leant in the window and tugged at her bag.
“Esme hurry up, will you I’ve a plane to catch!”
Powered by hurt, Esme flung open the car door. She stomped up the path, her rucksack swinging in her hand like a slingshot about to be loosened. Not that she’d ever fling her rucksack. Her iPad was in there (not that it was going to be any use to her, as Gran’s cottage had no wi-fi) as well as the other, less important stuff like spare clothes, a toothbrush and a comb.
At the exact moment they reached the steps, her grandmother opened the door. Not in the normal way. She didn’t fling it wide. She didn’t call her usual greeting:
Come in! come in! My two favourite lassies!
Instead the door opened a crack. Esme only knew Gran was there because she could see one plump hand, fingers clutching the door, holding it fast.
“You cannae come in!”
Esme frowned, puzzled.
Available to buy in a special offer from me at Readers that Care