The Last Panther

What is a species worth?

Coming out with Delacorte Press in August, 2017!

Coming out with Delacorte Press in August, 2017!

A boldly original, profoundly wise, deeply moving book. It’s a rare gift to any reader, as well as to our planet.  —T. A. Barron, best-selling author of the Merlin Saga

The Last Panther is poignant and lush—steeped in the mystical, while set in a future snared by devastation. Kiri’s story stuck with me long after I reached the end of the book.   —Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor winner, author of Savvy

This is a book whose every piece is beautiful and fascinating. But as the last piece slides into place, readers will step back and see a portrait of a richly imagined (and imperiled) world that will forever change the way we look at our own.    —Eliot Schrefer, two-time National Book Award Finalist

Mitchell has crafted a story that will not only engage readers, but also prompt them to ask important questions about conservation and what it means to protect wildlife… the action and mystical encounters make the book difficult to put down. Teachers can connect this absorbing tale to lessons on ecology, endangered species, social structures, and more. VERDICT An important addition on a timely subject.    —School Library Journal

A powerful tale of a future to be avoided. —Kirkus

A delightful main heroine and relevant topic.  —Log Cabin Library

Told in vivid, heartbreaking detail and filled with strong, developed characters, this novel… tackles an important theme in a compelling way. In Kiri, young readers will find a protagonist who, although at times afraid, finds the courage to do what she believes to be right.     —Booklist

Earnest, heartfelt, and passionate, this book will likely inspire new environmentalists.  —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

The Last Panther has the timeless feel of a classic, yet with a timely message woven into its tapestry of myth and quest. I will be urging everyone I know to read this book. Not only is it the essential story of our time—and perhaps our future—but it’s also a moving and tender tale of love, connection, and community.     —Laura Resau, Américas Award winning author of Star in the Forest

Available now for preorder! Coming out in August 2017.


 Want me to visit your school? The Last Panther connects to several common curriculum goals for grades 4-7. To schedule an elementary or middle school Author Visit contact me today! 


About The Last Panther and why I wrote it:

Only about 100-150 Florida panthers are left in the wild today.

Only about 100-160 Florida panthers are left in the wild.

THE LAST PANTHER  follows the adventures of Kiri, an eleven-year-old girl who lives in a post-climate disaster swamp with her scientist father and her pet rat, Snowflake. When Kiri helps her father capture the last known wild panther, her life in the swamp becomes threatened by poachers and collectors, and she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the panther and herself. Giant sea turtles, climate refugees, and mystical encounters with the Shadow that Hunts populate this fast-paced, heart-pounding tale. (For ages 9 & up.)

These guys are a big part of the book too!

These guys are a big part of the book too!

I wrote this book with my ten year old daughter, thinking about what story she’d enjoy most, and what stories aren’t being told right now that desperately need to be told.

Although my first goal is always to write a riveting book, it’s my hope that The Last Panther will also be used to help students connect to several common areas of interest for 4th-7th grades, including:

And I mean big!

And I mean big!


—Protecting endangered species

—Protecting the ecosystems upon which we depend

—Multiculturalism, immigration, and diversity

—Economies, markets, and social structures

—Empowering youth to work together to create positive change.

Leatherback teeth—all the better for munching on jellyfish.

Leatherback teeth—all the better for munching on jellyfish.

The Last Panther Book Club and Teaching Materials:

The Last Panther Discussion Questions

Connections to Academic Standards and Activities for The Last Panther

Four Activities for Engaging Future Fiction

Do Something Good (empowering positive youth actions)


imagesContact me to schedule an author visit for 2017!

Editing Note: THE LAST PANTHER used to be called SPECIES, but after much thought the editor and I decided that THE LAST PANTHER sounded more concrete and compelling. What do you think?

Don't mess with the panther mother.

Don’t mess with the panther mother.