By Lisa McMann
New York: Harper, 2016.
Grades 5 and Up
I wasn’t sure I would like Going Wild based on the cover of three kids and Cheetah with the tag line of: The power of the animal kingdom is in her hands. Sometimes I am just not into animal books. But I soon found that this book is not what I thought and I was totally engrossed and couldn’t put it down!
I enjoyed Lisa McMann’s introduction of all the characters, I felt like I knew them all well before the action all started! Charlotte, known to all as Charlie has to leave Chicago and travel across the U.S. to Arizona as her mom got a new job as the director of an emergency room. Charlie is not happy! She hates leaving her school, her soccer team and her friends! On the day they finish loading the moving truck a package arrives and Charlie throws into the back of the truck–not to think of it again until days after they have arrived at their new home. The package contains what looks like a fit bit, athletic bracelet. So Charlie puts it on as she tries to figure out how it works—as no instructions were included. School is off to a rocky start, but Charlie is hopeful that making the soccer team might help her to find some new friends. Those tryouts were filled with friends and foes and some incredible moments. During the tryouts Charlie found unbelievable speed, like a cheetah and the ability to heal herself from a soccer ending injury, like a starfish or chameleon. She is beginning to believe that the “athletic bracelet” has some power and she is scared because now she cannot remove it off her wrist. Luckily, she has made a friend in fellow soccer player Maria and has someone to confide in and so the adventure of exploring the power of friendship and the power of the bracelet is off to a furious start.
I am kind of thinking that this is going to appeal to girls because Mac, Maria’s best (boy) friend takes a back seat to some girl drama that ensues. The book was predictable but that certainly does not take away from the exciting adventures that Charlie, Maria and Mac take on as they explore the bracelet and now have to keep it away from the group who wants to collect what was stolen from them.