Nowhere Wild by Joe BeerninkNowhere Wild by Joe Beernink

Nowhere Wild

byJoe Beernink

Hardcover | May 30, 2017

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A dark and riveting survival story set against a rugged northern landscape . . .

Izzy is just thirteen when a flu pandemic turns the world upside down. After her sister is attacked by a roving gang of looters in what remains of their town, Izzy flees to the wilderness with a man who claims he will protect her.

Sixteen-year-old Jake is stranded and alone in the unforgiving northern Manitoba backcountry. His mother and grandfather have died and his father has gone missing while searching for help. Desperate to find a way home, Jake begins a trek over some of the most forbidding landscape in the country.

Both Jake and Izzy are forced to make decisions and take on responsibilities they could never have imagined. They must draw on every shred of resourcefulness and courage as they try to save themselves and, ultimately, each other.


“A gripping story of survival and self-discovery, Nowhere Wild is a contemporary adventure novel that reads like a classic.” —National Book Award Finalist Deb Caletti, author of Stay

JOE BEERNINK grew up in rural Southwestern Ontario, and graduated from York University with a B.Sc. in Space and Communication Science. He currently makes his living as a software developer near Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his wife and two children. He blogs about his writing and his life at
Title:Nowhere WildFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.01 inPublished:May 30, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443422436

ISBN - 13:9781443422437


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling and Darkly Intriguing Set in Thompson Manitoba “Nowhere Wild” begins with a flu epidemic that decimated the city, a food shortage and a rise in crime that has thirteen-year-old Izzy Chamberlain fleeing into the wilderness with her friend Brian’s father Rick after her sister is attacked by a gang of looters. Haunted by the loss of her family, Izzy depends on Rick to protect her as they struggle through snow squalls to reach his cabin only to become a slave to his whims and sexual abuse for months. In late summer in the northern backcountry sixteen -year-old Jake Clarke’s father went missing after leaving camp in his canoe to find help for his injured wife after their plane didn’t arrive. When his mother and grandfather die Jake equipped with the survival knowledge of his Cree heritage begins a trek across the hostile landscape only to come close to starving when he discovers Izzie and Rick’s secluded cabin. Hidden in the woods while witnessing Rick’s brutality and Izzy’s fatalism, Jake decides to rescue the suicidal young girl. Pursued by her captor, facing the dangers of wildlife and the rough waters of the lakes in a small canoe the two quickly learn to work together, confronting every unexpected challenge as they head to the safety of the small community of Laroque. Fast-paced and darkly intriguing, the story heats up when Jake rescues Izzy after her futile escape attempt only to face survival in a harsh environment that would claim their lives as quickly as the brute chasing them. Told from alternating perspectives as the loss in their pasts is revealed, the emotional-intensity and suspense escalate as Izzy not only grapples with Rick’s abuse and her insecurities but with their struggle to find “shelter, fire, water and food.” Skillfully woven into the plot are hidden secrets, a murder, and a deadly obsession but there are few twists. Masterfully Joe Beernink touches on sensitive subjects like abuse and suicide as well as infusing a sense of responsibility in the use of guns and the taking of life with Jake’s killing of a deer to survive versus being faced with shooting Rick. The characters are realistic and complex like Isabella (Izzy) Chamberlain a thirteen-year-old thrown into a dire situation because of a sudden catastrophe that stole her family. Traumatized and scared she finds her life in pieces, her trust shattered, and her body abused. Determined and strong she doesn’t give up although her failed scheme leaves her suicidal. Rescued by impatient, stubborn but resourceful and capable Jake Clarke she thinks of him as bossy and grumpy which quickly changes as they work together to survive the perils of the forest and the hot-tempered, possessive and brutally cold killer chasing them. I thoroughly enjoyed “Nowhere Wild” a page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the ending which promises a sequel. Compelling and intense this is a must-read for those teens who enjoy a story of survival set in the rugged terrain of northern Manitoba.
Date published: 2018-04-16

Editorial Reviews

“A gripping story of survival and self-discovery, Nowhere Wild is a contemporary adventure novel that reads like a classic.”