Animal rescue stories for junior and middle fiction readers

When I was a kid, the stories I loved most were about animals, and I was particularly fascinated with animal rescue narratives. Well, it turns out this love is perennial and there is a whole new wave of charming books about rescuing animals of all shapes and sizes to inspire and comfort young animal lovers. Here are a few of my recent favourites…


Polly Pecorino: The Girl Who Rescues Animals by Emma Chichester Clark

Polly Pecorino rescues animals, and she can talk to them too.

She spends all of her time caring for those at Happy Days Zoo, where the devious owners, Mr and Mrs Snell, will do anything to make money. One day they steal a bear cub, certain that he will do wonders for ticket sales, but the ferocious bears living in Wild Bear Woods want their cub back.

Will Polly be brave enough to stand up to the Snells and take Booboo, the bear cub, back where he belongs?

This book is an utter delight for readers aged 8 and up.


The Adventure Club: Red Panda Rescue by Jess Butterworth

Tilly has no plans for the summer holidays and is dreading months of boredom – that is until she wins a place to go track and monitor endangered red pandas in Nepal!

In the Himalayas, she meets other members of the club and even spots the secretive red panda. But then the red panda Tilly and her team have been monitoring disappears. Will Tilly be able to help find it, or will her first ever adventure end in disaster? Packed full of illustrations and set as Tilly’s own diary, this new series is perfect for young readers who are beginning to read on their own.

Reviewer Dani Solomon recommends it for readers aged 6 and up here.


Devils in Danger by Samantha Wheeler

Eleven-year-old Killarney loves exploring the wilderness around her Tasmanian hometown. When strange things start to happen - ear-splitting screams in the dead of night and missing items found under the house - Killarney gets busy solving the mystery.

Killarney discovers the culprit- a wild Tasmanian devil under the house! She is excited, but many of the locals are terrified. Can she convince an entire town these wild creatures are worth saving?

A wonderful, engaging story for readers aged 7 and up.


Bailey Finch Takes a Stand by Ingrid Laguna

It’s one year since Bailey’s mum died. And her dad doesn’t seem to care much about anything. Bailey spends afternoons by the creek with her dog, Sheba. Until Sheba gets very sick from something she must have swallowed while swimming in the creek. And Bailey notices all the rubbish polluting the waterway.

Between visits to Sheba in the vet hospital, Bailey tries to find a way to make the creek safe for Sheba and other animals. And through her unexpected friendship with Israel, a quiet boy who knows about endangered species, Bailey Finch finds the courage to take a stand.

A moving story for readers aged 8 and up.


Kat Wolfe on Thin Ice by Lauren St John

In this third stand-alone adventure of animal loving sleuth Kat Wolfe, Kat and her best friend Harper can’t wait to join their parents on a winter vacation in a mountain cabin in the US. But a series of misadventures result in them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alone.

With a snow storm moving in and no way out, all that stands between the girls and disaster are a team of eight huskies and one impossible raccoon.

This action-packed adventure is perfect for readers aged 9 and up. Read it as a stand-alone or get the whole series here.


Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt by Jennifer Bell

When 8-year-old Agnes is signed up for SPEARS (the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has no idea of the adventures that lie ahead with her elephant-shrew mentor Attie (short for “Attenborough”).

Operation Honeyhunt sends them to the Atlantic forest, on a mission to save an endangered, dance-loving bee named Elton. Will Agnes pass the test and become a full SPEARS agent? Species in danger? Girl and shrew to the rescue!

Readers aged 6 and up will love this fun-packed conservation series.

Polly Pecorino: The Girl Who Rescues Animals

Polly Pecorino: The Girl Who Rescues Animals

Emma Chichester Clark

$24.99Buy now

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