Barbara Henderson’s latest children’s book is a thriller set on a fictional Hebridean island that pits the children of a team of construction workers against the forces of nature.
It is a pacey and, at times, scary read (particularly during a late-night rodent invasion and a high stakes encounter with an eagle) and would make a great first thriller for young readers, while raising challenging questions about our relationship with wildlife and readiness to try to tame what we do not own.
Em is a smart and feisty heroine, and you can’t help but root for her and the gang of kids (especially her friend Zac and bagpipe-playing brother Struan) as they battle to make a go of life in a cut off community, and to wake the adults around them up to their risky reality.
From the seagulls to the seals, to the ocean itself, this is a story that eschews a cute and cuddly view of Scottish wildlife to remind us that nature is to be reckoned with respected – the story is all the stronger for taking an unconventional approach.
– Wilderness Wars, by Barbara Henderson, Cranachan