Rex Zero and the End of the World
Written by Tim Wynne-Jones
Publication Date September 01, 2006
It's the summer of 1962, and to twelve-year-old Rex the world is starting to look like a pretty scary place. On TV there are reports about the Russians and a nuclear war. Some people in his new neighborhood are even building bomb shelters in their backyards. Rex learns that there's trouble closer to home as well. A black panther has escaped from a zoo and he and his friends are sure they have spotted the creature in their local park -- and it is Rex who comes up with a plan to trap it.
In this smart, vivid and touching novel, Tim Wynne-Jones explores the time and place of his own childhood when a kid could spend an entire summer below the radar of adults. But it was also a time of great uncertainty and menace, when memories of an old war were still fresh, and fears of a new one were looming.
Short-listed for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award 2007
Short-listed for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award 2007
Selected for the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award - Fiction (Honor Book) 2007
Selected for the CCBC Choices 2008 (Starred Selection) 2007
Selected for the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award 2007
Tim Wynne-Jones is one of Canada's foremost writers for children. The author of over thirty books, he is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and of the Arthur Ellis Award. He is the recipient of many other prizes at home and internationally including the Edgar Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. In 2012 he was made an Officer to the Order of Canada. He lives in Perth, Ontario.
"[Wynne-Jones] has totally captured this particular historical moment...and, through the enthralling narrative voice he's created, made it truly come alive to contemporary readers. A character who will utterly enchant readers, Rex Zero is funny (without always realizing how hilarious he is), creative, imaginative, inventive, and exasperating - everything you'd expect of a 10-year-old trying to negotiate his way through a world he doesn't always understand." Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW
"Despite the weighty themes, Wynne-Jones writes with a light, often humorous touch and maintains a perspective true to an 11-year-old's perspective...This winning hero paints a universe both hopeful and realistic, one that readers may well want to visit." Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"The present-tense narrative is brilliant in its near stream-of-consciousness depiction of the world as Rex sees it...The meticulous plotting sets the enormity of world destruction against the equally cataclysmic concerns of childhood, all magnified through the lens of Rex's vivid imagination. It's a historic narrative that resonates eerily and effectively today." Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW
"[Rex Zero] is a delightful novel with arresting characters, written for a readership that will find touchstones of its own." Globe and Mail
"...an unusual and appealing title....the memorable characters and the animal mystery will keep the pages turning." School Library Journal
"...hilarious...Rex's family and friends are an amazing crew of appealing and intriguing characters...This novel will appeal to young readers who enjoy humour and learning about Canadian history." Resource Links
"Delightfully nerve-wracking, eccentric and optimistic." Kirkus Reviews
"Wynne-Jones does a masterful job capturing the time period in a novel that will not only appeal to boys today, but to their uncles and grandfathers as well." CM Magazine
"Wynne-Jones' funny and largely autobiographical novel is filled with local color, 1960s references, and a decidedly Canadian look at the cold war." Book Links
"Tim Wynne-Jones is in top form in this novel..." Globe and Mail