Thursday, April 25, 2019

ENDLING:  THE LAST by Katharine Applegate.  New York:  HarperCollins Publishers, 2018.  400p.  ISBN 978-0062335524 hc. $17.99    Gr. 3-6    JUV

In this fast-paced fantasy for middle schoolers, Byx, a doglike creature who walks upright, can detect when anyone is lying, and has the ability to glide like a flying squirrel, is immediately on the run as she is pursued by human hunters.  Arrows whiz past her as she glides from the top of a cliff to rescue a wobbyk named Tobble, who becomes her fast friend.  The youngest of the litter of an almost-extinct species of dairnes, Byx returns home with Tobble in tow to find that the human hunters have killed her entire dairne community.  She is now an endling - the last of her kind.  All alone, she joins forces to travel with Khara, a human tracker who disguises herself as a boy for safety.  The two search for allies in a world where different species vie for political dominance; and find themselves in league with a tiger-like felivet and flying raptidons.  Natural enemies form partnerships in order to survive against others with evil intentions.  Applegate’s award-winning writing style claimed the Newbery Medal in 2013 for THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN.  With other titles such as HOME OF THE BRAVE and ROSCOE RILEY RULES, readers can be confident that the Endling series will continue to be as dynamic as this first installment.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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