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Children's Fiction Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures

My Best Friend is Extinct

by (author) Rebecca Wood Barrett

illustrated by Cornelia Li

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2021
Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures, Friendship, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 10
  • Grade: 3 to 5
  • Reading age: 8 to 10


Ten-year-old Henry Springs is thrilled when the wintery resort town he and his mom recently moved to experiences a record-breaking snowfall. There are even rumors that the extreme weather could mark the beginning of a new ice age.

One day, while exploring one of the many tunnels running through the town’s snowbanks, Henry discovers a strange, prehistoric-like creature that is seriously injured. Henry immediately names him Yarp and hauls the wounded animal back to his house on a makeshift sled. There he builds a secret cave for Yarp and slowly nurses him back to health. But, as Henry soon discovers, Yarp is not the only unusual beast lurking in the neighborhood. Where did these creatures come from and how can Henry keep his new friend safe?

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the authors

Rebecca Wood Barrett is an award-winning writer and filmmaker whose short fiction has been published in literary journals such as Room and the Antigonish Review. Her debut novel, My Best Friend Is Extinct was shortlisted for the Red Cedar Book Award and won the Chocolate Lily Award. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and lives in Whistler, British Columbia, where she teaches writing and filmmaking to kids of all ages.

Rebecca Wood Barrett's profile page

Cornelia Li is a Chinese-born illustrator currently based in Toronto. She is intrigued by narrative woven into daily interactions between people and their surroundings and she set out to capture the relationship by externalizing the ideas and emotions into elements in her images. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, the AOI, 3x3, the National Magazine Awards and more.


Cornelia Li's profile page


  • Nominated, Chocolate Lily Book Awards
  • Nominated, Young Readers' Choice Book Awards of British Columbia (YRCABC) Red Cedar Book Awards
  • Commended, BC Books for BC Schools

Editorial Reviews

“A truly exciting and entertaining novel for younger readers. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Artwork is accompany Wood Barrett’s imaginative storytelling. But most effective is the relatable and charming Henry, who learns lessons about bravery, trust, and friendship through his sweet relationship with a prehistoric friend.”

Quill & Quire

“This is a must purchase for elementary school libraries as well as home libraries as much for its unique plot and dynamic action as for its message to children who find a similar cause that can bring them together.”

Must Read Literature

“Engaging and intriguing...A heartwarming tale of finding home.”

School Library Journal (SLJ)

“Whimsical b&w illustrations increase the appeal of this sweet tale…Readers who enjoy adventure stories with animals will appreciate the fast-paced chapters and the touching bond between a boy and his 'bear.’”

Publishers Weekly

"My Best Friend Is Extinct is a wild romp through the hidden world of a snow-covered town. Readers will cheer for quirky and loveable Henry as he navigates the challenges of friendship with his classmates and his new buddy and prehistoric creature, Yarp."

Sara Leach, award-winning author of Count Me In

“A simple and fun middle grade read that would be wonderful to highlight during the winter season…A great read aloud for 3rd or 4th grade.”

Kiss the Book

“Illustrations throughout add charm to the story. A good choice for lovers of animal and friendship stories.”

Kirkus Reviews

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