Wild Life is about at-risk urban teens who get in over their heads when they try to escape trouble at home by seeking refuge in Yosemite National Park wilderness, where bear attacks, lightning strikes and perilous falls are just a few of the dangers threatening them. This coming-of-age story is packed with unforgettable characters and ripped-from-the-headlines drama. More
Wild Life is about at-risk urban teens who get in over their heads when they try to escape trouble at home by seeking refuge in California’s Sierra Nevada wilderness, where bear attacks, lightning strikes and perilous falls are just a few of the dangers threatening them.
Leading the way is Shawn Shepard, a 17 year old who recently lost his dad to the war in Afghanistan and is eager to become a man himself. Shawn’s plan to spend his 18th summer in Yosemite National Park is hijacked by Bull and Boost, killers from a Bay Area gang, the Dawgtown Pound. The Pounders need to get out of town fast after their attack on a rival gang, the Syndicate Kings, goes horribly wrong. Along for the ride is the impressionable 13-year-old runaway Darius Chance, a Pound recruit that Shawn once tried and failed to mentor.
In Yosemite, things go from bad to worse for Shawn and his misfit companions when Juan, a drug dealer in the park, identifies them and alerts his fellow Kings back home. Not only are the Kings out for blood, they have a secret to protect in Yosemite — a secret at the center of a major law enforcement investigation that is about to break wide open.
Packed with unforgettable characters, ripped-from-the-headlines drama, and vividly described Yosemite locations, Wild Life is both a coming-of-age story and a fish-out-water adventure, told with a full heart and a clear mind about the conflicts facing urban youth and our National Parks today.
Author Kristopher Spencer is an avid hiker, biker and backpacker. He lives in Michigan with his wife Laura, who designed the cover of Wild Life. He also is the author of Film & Television Scores, 1950-1979, A Critical Survey by Genre (McFarland and Company, 2008).