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The Last Wild Place by Rosa Jordan

The Last Wild Place

by Rosa Jordan

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Gr 5-8-Jordan returns with another eco-friendly novel featuring the Martin family. Now that Justin is away at college, Chip, 12, is the man of the house. His mother has become romantically involved with his friend Luther's uncle. The town's community center is providing a temporary home to families who were displaced by a recent Gulf Coast hurricane, and as Luther befriends some of those kids, he seems to be distancing himself from Chip. Seeking solace at a deserted property that he and Luther discovered several years earlier, Chip makes an amazing discovery: two Florida panther cubs have somehow traveled from the Everglades to the abandoned site and have established a home there. Chip has visions of befriending the animals, but the future of all the wildlife in the marshy sanctuary is unexpectedly put into danger when a construction crew arrives to raze the barn and turn the property into a meat-packing plant. When the adults fail to come up with an immediate solution to protect the animals, Chip and his classmates take matters into their own hands. Reminiscent of Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (Knopf, 2002), Wild Place is an empowering story of friendship and kids who step up to make a difference. Sprinkled liberally with environmental messages, it manages to avoid crossing the line into didacticism. The characters are fully realized and the plot moves along at a good clip. While readers of Jordan's first two stories will enjoy meeting up with familiar characters, the novel easily stands alone.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Nowadays, many natural habitats for animals are being destroyed to build many different kinds of industries. That's one of the main problems that the protagonist, Chip has to deal with.

Chip lives in the countryside with his family along with two of his best friends Lily and Luther. When he gets into a quarrel with one of them, he feels like he needs some alone time and decides to explore. He rediscovers a place Luther and Chip called "The Jungle,". The place is beautiful from Chip's POV, but Luther and Chip also deemed it dangerous. Chip discovers that the Florida Panther lives in the 10 acres of an overgrown forest and that's when someone gets the idea to tear down the abandoned farm in front of "The Jungle" and build a meatpacking building. So Chip must find a way to prevent the meatpacking construction from happening; but the only way is to reveal the secret of the Panthers. Will the adults believe them? Will it even delay the construction?

This book is set in the countryside which is apparent because of the daily life the protagonist leads & the scenery described. but mostly in "The Jungle", which is described in the book as enclosed with thorny brambles & trees, and filled with swampy ground. The two boys called it "The Jungle" most likely because of the surrounding thick trees and its boggy nature which resembled a jungle. Chip and Luther had explored it three years ago, but they were too small to be able to jump the ditch that separated "The Jungle" from the farm's grass terrain. Later after they reconcile, Chip brings Luther to "The Jungle" , and shortly after Lily discovers it too after following Chip's tracks.

I first picked this book because of the author, Rosa Jordan, whose book I had read & enjoyed(Lost Goat Lane). I then renewed my interest with her books because she doesn't write those about topics that the majority of new teen books contain. She also explains the reactions of the characters in a humorous way, while transitioning between the dialogue of two characters smoothly while giving the reader something to paint a picture of.
I like how there are many consequences to many actions that the characters take in this book (& that it follows Newton's third Law of Motion), and how the characters solve their problems slowly. I also very, truly like the font that is used; it triggers a moment of happiness for me. I also liked how Rosa increased the suspense to the climax, but would cut you off with some humour and show that it was a mini-climax.
What I didn't like is how Rosa Jordan didn't put a bigger emphasis on the scenery, which made it harder to picture the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books that are relating to real-life and contains real-life problems, but also to anyone who likes small font. This book also contains a bit of adventure and suspense because of the setting and the characters, so this book is also to anyone who enjoys those genres as well. This book is very enjoyable and very very good! I read it in 3 days, which is very unusual for me because I was using my thorough reading method this time. I will continue to follow Rosa Jordan, but in the period of delay, waiting for another book, I hope you pick up "Lost Goat Lane" because it is the first book of the "trilogy". ( )
  Shiko99 | Dec 1, 2010 |
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With problems mounting at home and with his best friend, when sixth-grader Chip discovers a family of Florida panthers in the marshy woods behind an abandoned farm, he puts aside his own predicaments and concentrates on finding a safe home for the wild animals.… (more)

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