Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Brandon Wallace
Publisher: Aladdin Max
Jake and Taylor Wilder have had a difficult life since their father left to live in the wilds of Wyoming. Their mother started a relationship with an abusive boyfriend, Bull, and then she became crippled by depression. All Jake and Taylor want to do is take care of their mother and keep out of Bull’s way. One day, the boys find a suspicious bag of cash in the house and witness Bull shooting a man. Bull knows the brothers saw his crime, so he beats up their mother to keep the boys quiet. Fearing Bull’s wrath, Jake and Taylor escape and set off to find their dad, following clues from their father’s letters and journal. Bull tracks down the brothers and a fight ensues, but the boys are rescued by their father.
Wallace reintroduces the classic story of wilderness survival to a new generation with Wilder Boys. But Wilder Boys is a very modern story dealing with hard issues such as abuse, depression, and broken families. With these horrors under their belts, it seems Jake and Taylor do not fear the wild since they have endured the ugliness of real life. Despite their courageous spirit, the wild still poses as a difficult obstacle to survive. But their courage and their faith in finding their father are two huge factors that aid in their ability to survive. Any fans of Gary Paulsen, Roland Smith, Sneed B. Collard III, or Will Hobbs would thoroughly enjoy this book. Wallace also has a sequel called The Journey Home.