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The Wild Ones by C. Alexander London
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The Wild Ones

by C. Alexander London

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THE WILD ONES by C. Alexander London is an enjoyable middle grade adventure fantasy featuring an epic conflict between wild and domesticated animals.

House pets known as The Flealess are planning to attack Ankle Snap Alley and break the treaty with The Wild Ones. Kit, a young raccoon in the city for the first time must find the Bone of Contention and stop the turf war.

Librarians will find the blend of witty humor with the well-developed animal characters to be a draw for youth who enjoy anthropomorphic stories. Fans of Redwall, Warriors, Spirit Animals, or any of the other animal series books will enjoy the diverse cast of animals.

Published by Philomel, an imprint of Penguin on August 25, 2015. ( )
  eduscapes | Aug 31, 2015 |
“Wild Ones,” by C. Alexander London, is a perfectly delightful and humorous novel for children from eight to twelve. It’s set in an endearing Disney-like world of anthropomorphic animals. There are all types of creatures: raccoons, rats, mice, owls, herons, turtles, pigeons, moles, cats, snakes, alligators, dogs, and many more. I can easily visualize each of these characters as if it were an animated cartoon character in a children’s movie or some fun animated 3-D version decorating a new adventure ride in Disneyland.

While this book is first and foremost a terrific action-packed adventure novel, parents will love the fact that it is also very much a cleverly disguised morality tale with tons of useful behavioral advice that children can pick up on how to succeed in the real “tooth and claw” world of bullies, cliques, and the other types of bad experiences that may await their child in a typical American middle school.

I think children will love the story, and parents will be pleased at all the sound conduct-of-life advice their child may pick up while reading it.

The main character is an orphaned young raccoon named Kit. He’s on a quest to find the Bone of Contention which is actually an ancient treaty that gives the Wilds Ones the exclusive rights to do whatever they want during the moonlight hours in a special corner of the city called Ankle Snap Alley…and they earned this right, by treaty, forever! But the People’s Pampered Pets are willing to lie, cheat, bully, and worse to prevent Kit from finding the Bone. They want Ankle Snap Alley for their own kind. They want to rule over this turf day and night. They want it so much, it might end up being a genuine turf war…the Wild Ones against the Pampered Pets.

Let me give you some examples of the behavior lessons contained within this fun adventure story. 1) If you use your brains, think very cleverly, and plan ahead, it is easy to win out over a bully. 2) If you want to get ahead in life, always be loyal to your friends, brave, and kind. 3) You should never cheat; however, if someone cheats on you, then it is okay to cheat that person back (but only if this is absolutely necessary in order to protect yourself from any harm they might do you). 4) It’s important to realize that talking about doing good means nothing; it’s actually doing good that counts. 5) In life, it’s never acceptable to seek revenge or to hold grudges. 6) Strive in everything you do to be a source of goodness in the world. If you do this, you will always win out over evil in the end. 7) A lot of good can come by being part of a community and you don’t have to like each and every person in the community to get along. 8) Because being clever is such a vital skill in succeeding in the “tooth and claw” world, it is absolutely crucial that everyone get as much schooling as possible. 9) If you’re a bully, a liar, a cheat, or a thief, you’ll always lose out to the clever ones.

As a parent, don’t be worried about the “tooth and claw” violence in this novel. This is clearly a book of make-believe and children will understand the difference. Also, the author has gone out of his way to sanitize any and all scenes of violence. For example, there are three animals that are killed in this book; however, none of these deaths occur in the presence of the main character and very little time is spent discussing them. In every other instance in the book in which one animal attacks and hurts another (e.g., by setting a snapping trap, or by swiping another animal with claws), the hurt animal’s response is merely a cartoon-like “ouch,” or “yowie.” If blood is drawn, it’s referred to as a “pinprick.” This is hardly the type of violence I’d describe as being able to hurt a young child’s mind (as some reviewers have cautioned).

As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it through to the end with pleasure. I’m going to love giving this to my bright eight-year-old grandnephew and hearing about how he reacts to it. He has a temporary fascination with raccoon characters (perhaps because he saw the film “Guardians of the Galaxy” last year). Anyway, I know he’ll love it…and so will his parents. He’s a very good kid, but moral lessons that you find in this book are always welcome and useful. I don’t think he’s yet had any serious trouble with bullies and cliques…but that could come soon. You can’t always protect a child from the “tooth and claw” real world; but you can show him (through fiction) how he might handle bad situations in a good way and win out in the end. ( )
  msbaba | May 16, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399170995, Hardcover)

When a country raccoon used to a soft life winds up all alone in the big city, there's no telling what he'll do to survive -- and to save his fellow wild animals in the process.

Kit is a young raccoon who has lived his whole life under the Big Sky. But when a pack of hunting dogs destroy his home and kill his parents, Kit needs to escape.
 
He finds himself in Ankle Snap Alley, a city in the midst of a turf war between the Wild Ones and the people's pets who call themselves The Flealess. There he uncovers the secret that they died for--an ancient truce that gives Ankle Snap Alley to the Wild Ones. But the Flealess will stop at nothing to keep that secret buried forever, and Kit is in serious danger. Only the brave of heart and quick of paw can save the Wild Ones now.

Perfect for fans of the Warriors, Spirit Animals, or Redwall series, this first book in the Wild Ones epic is sure capture young readers' imaginations and take them on a great adventure.

Advance praise for The Wild Ones:
 
“Raccoon hero Kit and his ragtag community of creatures will sneak their way into your imagination and steal your heart. They may pick your pocket, too, but they’ll take you on an adventure you won’t soon forget. This is a fantasy that kids will adore (and quick-of-paw parents will steal). A wild ride from a wildly imaginative author.”--Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan and the bestselling Animorphs series

"Bold deeds, betrayals, and buffoonery kick off this series with gusto."--Kirkus Reviews 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:41:34 -0400)

After his parents are killed, Kit, a young raccoon sets off for the city with a stone that may be the key to finding the Bone of Contention, a legendary object that is proof of a deal giving the wild animals the rights to Ankle Snap Alley, which the dogs and cats--known as the flealess--want back and are willing to kill for.… (more)

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