Rex Zero and the End of the World

by Tim Wynne-Jones Part of the Rex Zero Series

Rex Norton-Norton and his family have just moved to Ottawa from Vancouver. The year... read more

Rex Norton-Norton and his family have just moved to Ottawa from Vancouver. The year is 1962, and while adults worry about the possibility of the Cold War unleashing an atomic bomb, Rex and his new friends have much more pressing and immediate concerns: the escaped panther spending its nights in nearby Adams Park. Rex has heard its growl. Kathy has several blurry photos. But not a single adult is willing to believe it’s there. Tim Wynne–Jones’ observant and entertaining novel captures what it was like to be a kid growing up in the shadow of the burgeoning nuclear age, turning fear of a panther that may or may not be real into a metaphor for the general sense of unease that filters down from the adult world into the lives of children. Unlike the adults around them, who watch disturbing documentaries about Cold War cruelties or build bomb shelters to survive impending doom, Rex and his friends are determined to take decisive action. They make plans to capture the wild beast in a story featuring a likeable eleven-year-old protagonist who is constantly forming new and deeper insights, small leaps of understanding that go hand-in-hand with growing up. (Ages 9–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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