Coming out this summer! THE LAST PANTHER


You might have noticed that I haven’t posted much recently. That’s because I’ve been hard at work on final revisions of a new book, THE LAST PANTHERthat’s set to come out with Random House in Summer, 2017.

To read reviews and discover the latest on this book please visit The Last Panther page!


THE LAST PANTHER (for ages 9 and up) 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 Florida 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.

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

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

For me, THE LAST PANTHER is a very personal and powerful book. I wrote it with my kids in mind by asking myself two questions: “What story desperately needs to be told that’s not being told?” and “What book would my kids most want to read?”

In fact, my nine-year-old daughter helped me with early drafts (it was her idea to include a pet rat named Snowflake), and every page has been kid tested and daughter approved. The editor, Kate Sullivan, has also been amazing to work with, as she’s pushed this book to become something truly extraordinary.

These guys are a big part of the book too!

These guys are a big part of the book too!


I look forward to sharing more of this book with you as the pub date nears. And if you feel inspired from reading the book to do something good, here’s a page just for you.

And I mean big!

And I mean big!






In the meantime, if you’re a teacher or a student, or if you know someone in elementary or middle school, please consider scheduling an Author Visit with me for fall 2017. I’m designing entirely new presentations around THE LAST PANTHER that I can’t wait to share with students.



Although the book is first and foremost an entertaining story, it can help students relate to several common curriculum goals and areas of interest for 4th-7th grades, including:


—Protecting endangered animals

Leatherback teeth—all the better for munching on jellyfish.

Leatherback teeth—all the better for munching on jellyfish.

—Protecting the ecosystems upon which we depend

—Multiculturalism, immigration, and diversity

—Economies, markets, and social organization

—Empowering youth to work together to create positive change.

Contact me if you’d like to schedule an author visit.

Book Club and Teaching Materials for The Last Panther:

The Last Panther Discussion Questions

Connections to Academic Standards and Activities for The Last Panther

Four Activities for Engaging Future Fiction

—Do Something Good (and get a Protector Pendant)

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.


  1. Emily Mitchell Becker says

    How wonderful that you wrote about this important topic! I truly look forward to reading your book!

  2. Tucker Legerski says

    Todd! I want to hear this story! Can’t wait!

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