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REX ZERO AND THE END OF THE WORLD by Tim Wynne-Jones

REX ZERO AND THE END OF THE WORLD

By Tim Wynne-Jones

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: March 8th, 2007
ISBN: 0-374-33467-6
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Lonely and friendless, Rex Norton-Norton has just moved to Ottawa. It’s the summer of 1962, right before the Cuban Missile Crisis, and even tadpole-collecting kids like Rex are caught up in the fear of an impending nuclear war. But there are other crises afoot: The neighborhood children believe there is a panther loose in the city park, and Rex is determined to help them capture it. The seemingly innocent games played by Rex and his new friends are touched by the apocalyptic fear shared by Canada’s adults. Wynne-Jones brushes Rex’s story with the affectionate light of nostalgia: Brownie cameras, Raleigh three-speed bikes and glass bottles of pop from the corner store, all in a world seen as ultimately hopeful. But any distance created by this fond glow of memory is more than made up for by the intricately flavored details of Rex’s life, from his toy gun-wielding sister Annie Oakley, to his obsession with mixing up the colors of his paint-by-numbers kits. Delightfully nerve-wracking, eccentric and optimistic. (Fiction. 9-12)