The End of the Wild

The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget recommended for children aged 9-12 is about “Eleven-year-old Fern helps to take care of her impoverished family by foraging for food in theforest, but when a fracking company rolls into town, she realizes that her peaceful woods and her family’s livelihood could be threatened”–

Grades 3-6 /* Starred Review */ Incredible things can be found in the  woods if you know where to look. Fern loves wandering among the  trees, which remind her of  her mother and help feed her family while Toivo, her stepfather, is between jobs. The  past year has been tough on them all since the  accident took Fern’s mother and baby brother, but Fern helps Toivo by cooking, minding her two little brothers, and foraging for food. It’s a lot of  pressure for a sixth-grader, and the  calls from bill collectors and Child Protective Services only add to her worries. When a fracking company comes to town with plans to turn her woods into a wastewater pond, Fern decides to use her STEM fair project to showcase the  useful flora the  community would lose if the  frackers chop down the  trees. Helget (Wonder at the  Edge of the  World, 2015) has penned a rich narrative laced with astute observations on poverty, grief, forgiveness, and environmental concerns. Many stories would buckle under such weighty themes, but Fern proves a stalwart protagonist who bears this load admirably. Her fortitude and big heart give the  story a determined hopefulness, even as she comes to realize many of  life’s problems don’t have simple or straightforward solutions. An uncommonly fine account of  perseverance and understanding in the  face of  adversity. — Smith, Julia (Reviewed 3/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 14, p58)