The Last Firedog Reviews

(Age: 8-12 years). Themes: Bushfires, bullying, friendship, hope, resilience, the environment

 

The Last Firedog is the new eco-fantasy novel by Ian Boyd and Gary Luck, following the popular release of Melody Finch in 2020. For ages 8+ this is a highly recommended follow-up as it has something to hook every reader.

This second novel follows bullied but resourceful young cricketer, Reynold, who suddenly becomes a Tasmanian devil when a terrifying bushfire breaks out in his parents’ devil refuge. He must make fast decisions and juggle competing priorities to survive and get home safely. These priorities include saving another devil who is vital for the eradication of a terrible cancer, helping other animals escape the fire, fulfilling the dying wish of a mother quoll, and unravelling the mystery of the mythical firedog, all while navigating new and old relationships.

The story runs at a cracking pace with plenty of humour along with a cast of great characters (both human and animal). During the adventure we learn interesting information about bushfires, the environment, and a huge variety of Tasmanian wildlife. We also learn about friendships, family, and love, as well as resilience, bravery and doing the right thing even when it's tough.

A fun, engaging read to share with all the young people in your life.

 

Reviewed by Kylie Grant: Library Technician, Seymore College, SA.