Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

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A headstrong girl. A stray cat. A wild boy. A man who plays with fire. Eleven-year-old Zo\u00eb trusts no one. Her father left before she was born. At the death of her irresponsible mother, Zo\u00eb goes to live with her uncle, former surgeon and famed metal sculptor Dr. Henry Royster. She's sure Henry will fail her as everyone else has. Reclusive since his wife's death, Henry takes Zo\u00eb to Sugar Hill, North Carolina, where he welds sculptures as stormy as his moods. Zo\u00eb and Henry have much in common: brains, fiery and creative natures, and badly broken hearts. Zo\u00eb confronts small-town prejudice with a quick temper. She warms to Henry's odd but devoted friends, meets a mysterious teenage boy living wild in the neighboring woods, and works to win the trust of a feral cat while struggling to trust in anyone herself. In this ALA Notable Children's Book and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year, Zo\u00eb's questing spirit leads her to uncover the wild boy's identity, lay bare a local lie, and begin to understand the true power of Henry's art. Then one decisive night, she and the boy risk everything in a reckless act of heroism. I'd hoped for better, Henry's being a heart doctor. A job like that, you'd think he might actually have a heart.      As usual, I pushed the cart down the aisle myself, taking what I needed off the shelves, the new grown-up as useless as those before him. Negative help, as Mama's friend Manny used to say, negative being less than none. No big deal. Grocery shopping and I were old friends, along with toilet scrubbing, vacuuming, and wash.      Said grown-up—my before-last-Monday-never-heard-of Uncle Henry—trailed behind, … alternating between keeping five or six paces back like I was contagious and breathing down my neck in the unlikely event I needed him for something. I wondered why he'd claimed me at all. —FROM THE BOOK

About Clay Carmichael

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Clay Carmichael has written award-winning children's books that have been translated into many languages. She teaches writing and illustrating and lives in Carrboro, North Carolina.
Published May 1, 2009 by Front Street, Incorporated. 248 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wild Things

Kirkus Reviews

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After the death of her mentally ill mother, Zoë—tart-tongued and valiant—is adopted by her paternal uncle, artist Henry Royster, and with his help moves toward a more conventional life.

Apr 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Wild Things

Deseret News

Zoe, an 11-year-old, is afraid a new home with a famous artist/doctor uncle will just be another "short stay," as has been her life with a shiftless, now dead, mother.

Jul 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Wild Things

Daily Kos

not sure I'll ever get to Part II, since I haven't found it at the used bookstore yet :) .

Jun 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Wild Things

Creative Loafing

Raised in captivity, Alex loves zoo life, though his best friend, Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), yearns to taste freedom.

May 25 2005 | Read Full Review of Wild Things

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