Reviews /

The Rewilders

Authored by Lindsay Littleton
Illustrated by Julia Dreams
Published by Cranachan Publishing Limited

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The Rewilders is a wild adventure set in the Highlands of Scotland. The middle of nowhere, at her grandmother’s house, with no phone signal is the last place Esme wants to me!

When Esme’s gran decides to rescue a stray ‘kitten’, Esme realises that the Highlands are not as dull as they seem. Esme teams up with the school bully, Callum. The author, Lindsay Littleson, expertly navigates their friendship from one of intense dislike to comradery. Together, they look after the creature and ‘rewild’ it back to the Highlands.

The description of the Scottish scenery is breath-taking and I like that the author has interspersed the dialogue with Scottish dialect. Reading this aloud meant working on my Scottish accent but it really brings the characters to life for the reader.

This book would be an excellent text for use in the primary classroom. It deals with issues such as bullying and conservation in a sensitive manner and will allow for rich discussion with children. It could also be used to generate a discussion about misconceptions and how our first impressions can be wrong. This issue is raised several times, for example, when Esme is first ‘taken’ to the Highlands and when she meets Callum.  The author deals with this expertly and weaves it seamlessly into the story. As an ex-primary school teacher, it is clear that Lindsay Littleson understands what children and teachers look for in texts.

This book should be a staple on primary classroom bookshelves. It is ideal as a class reader for upper KS2 due to the complexity of the issues it contains but could also be enjoyed as an independent read for older readers.