Books in the Middle: Reading for Middle School

Our focus is on books middle school students might like to read and topics pertaining to books for these students, and we are giving recommendations. Teachers, librarians and middle school students are the contributors to this blog. Enjoy!

Raised by Wild Animals March 6, 2014

Filed under: Fantasy Books — ghahn2012 @ 9:05 am
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Into That Forest by Louis Nowra Image

Our public library hosted a fantastic event at both of the middle schools where they donated tons of new novels that are in the process of being published to our students.  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on this title.

In the novel, two girls survive a terrible storm in which the narrator’s (Hannah) parents drown.  The girls are rescued by two Tasmanian tigers that raise them and teach them to hunt and survive in the wilderness.  Eventually, they lose their humanity and seem to be more animal than human.   The story is absolutely fascinating and really makes the reader think.  Would wild animals, especially predatory animals like tigers, ever raise human children as their own?  In the story the female tiger recently lost a litter to hunters, which supports the idea of accepting the children as her own.  It leaves the reader to question, if we were taken out of civilization would we revert to being more like the animals?

This novel is a quick and easy read.  The reader will get caught up in the story of Hannah and Becky.  As a reader, I wanted to connect more with Hannah.  Her experience was very traumatizing, but it is told from Hannah’s perspective as an old woman, which puts distance between the experience and the story.  I felt like Nowra could have written Hannah differently to pull the reader into the story more.  On the other hand, Nowra gives Hannah an almost animalistic perspective, which sets her apart from the reader and makes her interesting in a different way.

I absolutely recommend Into That Forest for animal lovers and readers looking for something a little bit different.

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