Ferals

Jacob Grey

Book - 2015

A street kid, whose only friends are crows, saves a girl from a vicious attack only to discover the existence of other wild kids like himself who possess the ability to communicate with animals.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2015]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
273 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780062321039
006232103X
Main Author
Jacob Grey (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Caw can't remember much before his life with the crows. He lives as they do: scavenging food from dumpsters, sleeping high in a tree, avoiding attention from adults who might ask where his parents are and why he isn't in school. But Caw is drawn to the calm warmth of domestic life he spies through the windows of a large house adjacent to the city jail, and on the night three notorious prisoners escape, he finds himself allied with Lydia, the red-haired girl who lives there. Fearing that the prisoners are in league with an even more dreadful criminal, Caw and Lydia look for answers and learn about "ferals"—people like Caw who can communicate with, and even control, a particular species of animal. The action builds to a satisfying and horrific conclusion as Caw gains mastery of his powers. A scary adventure for readers who enjoy the Animorphs series or Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book (2008)—although people with insect, bird, or snake phobias should stay well away! Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5–8—Ever since he was five years old, Caw has lived with his crows in the safety of the nest they made in an abandoned park. He lives off of what food he can scavenge from trash cans and restaurants. After Caw saves the local prison warden from an attack by escaped criminals, the two strike up an unlikely friendship. When a kindly librarian is found murdered, the two discover that their town holds a sinister secret. Caw finds out that he is a "feral"—someone who can speak to animals. There are others like him, though some of them are not good. Caw discovers that a feral was responsible for the death of his parents; it is up to him and a ragtag group of reluctant ferals to save their town from destruction. While the story is interesting and will certainly appeal to tweens, the plot has several glaring holes. There is the obvious question of how Caw was able to survive for eight years on his own without anyone noticing him. The protagonist also shows a surprising aptitude for summoning his crows after an extremely short training period. Character development is poor and the action slow to start. VERDICT A great premise with a poor execution that will leave readers looking elsewhere.—Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MA [Page 135]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A street kid, whose only friends are crows, saves a girl from a vicious attack only to discover the existence of other wild kids like himself who possess the ability to communicate with animals.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A street kid, whose only friends are crows, saves a girl from a vicious attack only to discover the existence of other wild kids like himself who possess the ability to communicate with animals. Simultaneous eBook. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Ferals is the first book in a dark, action-packed trilogy that’s part The Graveyard Book, part Batman, and all high-octane adventure.

Blackstone was once a thriving metropolis. But that was before the Dark Summer—a wave of violence and crime that swept through the city eight years ago, orchestrated by the fearsome Spinning Man. Now the Spinning Man is on the move again, and a boy named Caw is about to be caught in his web.

Caw has never questioned his ability to communicate with crows. But as the threat of a new Dark Summer looms, Caw discovers the underground world of Blackstone’s ferals—those with the power to control animals. Caw is one of them. And to save his city, he must quickly master abilities he never knew he had . . . and prepare to defeat a darkness he never could have imagined.