Where the World Turns Wild - Nicola Penfold


“Some books are excellent story telling, and some books broaden your knowledge and mind, and some just ought to be written and this book is all three. I loved it.”

Hilary McKay, author of The Skylarks’ War

“A brilliant adventure that pulls you headlong into Juniper and Bear’s world, where survival dependsupon finding the wild.”

Gill Lewis, author of Sky Hawk

“I’ve raced through Where the World Turns Wild… I think it truly is a fabulous debut with a powerful ecological message that could not be more timely. The plot and characters kept me gripped […] and I can’t wait to see what Nicola writes next!”

AM Howell, author of The Garden of Lost Secrets

“Nicola Penfold’s Where the World Turns Wild is a journey between extremes of grey and green, propelled by a bold and timely concept, and written with sharp, intelligent prose. A truly heartfelt and very striking novel.”

Darren Simpson, author of Scavengers

“A beautiful, memorable story about all the important things – love, family, loyalty, and courage – contained inside a brilliant adventure, Where the World Turns Wild can’t fail to enthrall any reader lucky enough to encounter it.”

Sinéad O’Hart, author of The Eye of the North

For Matilda, Daisy, Freddie and Beatrice, and the wild in all of you.

I wonder what would happen if every human on the planet were to fall asleep for one hundred years like the princess and her courtiers in Sleeping Beauty. The mass extinctions would end. The forests would return… Will [the trees] miss us when we’re gone? And who would tell them how beautiful they are?

From Oak and Ash and Thorn: The Ancient Woods and New Forests of Britain by Peter Fiennes


Title Page


Part I: City

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Part II: Wild

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Chapter Sixty

Chapter Sixty-One

Chapter Sixty-Two

Chapter Sixty-Three

Chapter Sixty-Four

Chapter Sixty-Five

Chapter Sixty-Six

Chapter Sixty-Seven

Chapter Sixty-Eight


About the Author


Once upon a time, almost fifty years ago, climate change and deforestation and humans ransacking everything good and beautiful, had driven our planet to breaking point. Nature was dying – plants and trees, animals, birds, insects – new species disappeared every day. But then the ReWilders created the disease.

It was grown in a lab by their best scientists and let loose in a population of ticks – eight-legged little creatures that hide in the undergrowth.

The beauty of the disease was no animal or bird ever got sick, only humans did. Humans got so sick they died. Lots of them. And the disease was so complex, so shifting, it was impossible to treat and impossible to vaccinate against. The only way for humans to survive was to live enclosed in cities, shut away from all other living things. And that, of course, had been the ReWilders’ plan all along. For in the abandoned wastelands outside the cities, nature could regrow, and it grew wilder and wilder. Wilder than ever.

It was humans or the Wild and the ReWilders chose the Wild. I would have chosen it too.

The glass tank is slippery in my hands and my cheeks burn red as I walk down the corridor from Ms Endo’s room. Stick insects. One of the city’s few concessions. Therapy for wayward kids. For us to concentrate on, to control our out-of-control imaginations. The Sticks are the last remedy in this place.

Before you’re sent to the Institute. That’s the next step.