Rex Zero and the End of the World by Tim Wynne-Jones

I was fortunate at the OLA Super Conference to receive a copy of Rex Zero and the End of the World by Tim Wynne-Jones and to meet the author through Margaret Atwood’s Long Pen invention as he signed the book. Mr. Wynne-Jones definitely has a sense of humour and it was quite evident through reading his book (and most especially the Afterword) that he remains in touch with his inner child and that Rex is actually representative of his own childhood. I am always glad to meet “adults” who are able to carry a sense of youthfulness about them – its something that I hope never to lose. I also loved the fact that libraries and librarians are mentioned in this book!!! What a great choice to give away at the OLA Super Conference! I quite enjoyed reading this book and below is a short review.

Twelve year old Rex Norton-Norton has just moved from Vancouver to Ottawa and is determined to make friends even though it is summer and he is living in the Twilight Zone! Fortunately Rex manages to meet some friends while looking after the Sausage (his little brother). Rex quickly befriends James and Buster and they create the nickname Rex Zero (Norton minus Norton equals zero) for him! The novel takes place during the Cold War where everyone is obsessed with bomb shelters, war and disaster; the world is a very uncertain place for Rex Zero. Still, Rex doesn’t let this get in the way of his deep imagination and sense for adventure that brings comedy and imagination to an otherwise deep story.

I highly recommend this book to tweens (and their parents too) as a fun and comedic read that offers an introductory lesson to French and the Cold War too! Both male and female pre-teens and their parents too can relate to the characters and situations in this fantasy/history book.

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