age range: 12 and up
genre: survival; cli-fi
setting: a post-oil era, government-abandoned, wild-fire-ravaged, climate-altered Alaska
Paul Greci’s website
This fast-paced book contains all the hallmarks of a classic wilderness survival novel (deadly terrain, vicious predators, literal cliff-hangers) and the best of the postapocalyptic genre … The author’s decades of Alaskan wilderness experience is evident throughout … A great high-stakes wilderness survival tale.
—School Library Journal
Heart-thumping suspense for readers who liked Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave. —Booklist
This rugged survival story places a group of teens in a dark, burned-out post-apocalyptic nightmare. Your heart will pound for them as they face terrible dangers and impossible odds. Gripping, vivid, and haunting!
— Emmy Laybourne, international bestselling author of the Monument 14 trilogy
A compelling story that wouldn’t let me stop reading. Greci has created both a frightening landscape and characters you believe in and want to survive it.
— Eric Walters, author of the bestselling Rule of Three series
A brutal vision of things to come. Greci delivers an apocalyptic odyssey that’s honest, relentless, and backed by his firsthand knowledge of the wilderness.
— Lex Thomas, author of the Quarantine series
Heart-racing… A rugged wilderness lover’s post-disaster survivalist tale.
Please tell us about your book.The Wild Landsis a character driven YA thriller about a seventeen-year-old boy and his ten-year-old sister walking across a post-oil era, government-abandoned, wild-fire-ravaged, climate-altered Alaska looking for a safe place to live. It is a wilderness survival story where encountering humans is more dangerous than encountering grizzly bears.
What inspired you to write this story?
I spend a lot time in the Alaska wilderness and love writing wilderness survival stories. I am fascinated both with survival and with climate change, so putting the two together was a story idea that resonated with me.
Could you share with readers how you conducted your research?
I regularly read about climate change, and much has been written speculating about how Alaska will change over time given the current warming trends. I have visited many of the places in the book, imagining how they might look in the future with climate change.
What are some special challenges associated with writing a story set in the future?
In writing The Wild Lands, I wanted the story grounded in reality, meaning that it was not that much of a leap from current political, economic, and environmental conditions for a reader to be able to connect with both the story events and the settings in which they take place.
What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?
My book is a coming-of-age story for the main character, Travis. It also has three strong female characters, who all go through their own coming-of-age journeys. It would also be a good story to use to discuss the qualities of good leadership. And, of course, if you are into wilderness survival or want to shine a light on climate change and/or resource use, there’s plenty there for rich discussions and writing projects. Also, exploring sibling relationships would be a good topic for classroom discussions. Finally, the idea that sometimes you have to be your own “mentor” when there is no one to turn to is a major theme in the story—standing on your own and taking care of yourself, while at the same time, being there for the people you care about.