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Children's Fiction General

Rex Zero, King of Nothing

by (author) Tim Wynne-Jones

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2007
General, Boys & Men, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2007
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2007
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Rex and his friends begin grade six against the backdrop of the 1962 Ban the Bomb protests on Parliament Hill. But once again it is trouble on the home front that has Rex's attention. Why is his father so insistent that Rex go with him to the November Remembrance Day services, and why does Dad become so sad at this time every year? Why does he have a stash of secret photographs and letters -- written in German? How can Rex deal with the new teacher, Miss Garr, a manipulative bully?

Yet all these problems pale when Rex finds an abandoned address book in a phone booth and sets out to find its owner. When the owner turns out to be the beautiful but desperate Natasha, the victim of an abusive husband, Rex finds himself wishing he had heroic powers so he could rescue this damsel in distress. Storybook solutions, it turns out, are no match for real-life adult problems, and once again Rex finds the answer in his own ingenuity and with the help of good friends.

About the author

TIM WYNNE-JONES is one of Canada's foremost writers for children. The author of over thirty-five books, he is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and of the Arthur Ellis Award. His short-story collections include Some of the Kinder Planets, Book of Changes and Lord of the Fries. He is also known for his Rex Zero series. Recently, he wrote the young-adult novels The Ruinous Sweep; Emperor of Any Place, which earned seven starred reviews; and Blink & Caution, which won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Tim is also the recipient of the Edgar Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. In 2012, he was made an Officer to the Order of Canada. He lives in Perth, Ontario.


Tim Wynne-Jones' profile page


  • Short-listed, IODE Violet Downey Book Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award (Young Adult/Middle Reader)
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2008
  • Short-listed, CLA Book of the Year for Children Award

Editorial Reviews

Wynne-Jones goes from strength to strength...Every one of [his] characters is fully realized and every sentence interesting - this story never bows to the predictable. Wynne-Jones captures perfectly the bizarre logic and comfortable arguments of family life.

Toronto Star

Readers of Rex Zero and the End of the World will cheer the return of this intelligent, funny, and totally original hero...Wynne-Jones creates a host of believable characters who jump right off the page an into your heart.

North Toronto Town Crier

...a wonderfully textured story...Wynne-Jones' skill is most apparent in the cast of memorable characters who are so well-drawn that readers feel as if they were sitting right in the living room listening to the kids stomp up and down the stairs.

CM Magazine

What more can be said about Tim Wynne-Jones and his remarkable stories? He is a gifted writer and continually creates characters to love and stories to make you stop and think.

Brandon Sun

Librarian Reviews

Rex Zero, King of Nothing

Even though Rex begins Grade 6 during the 1962 Ban the Bomb protests on Parliament Hill, it is trouble on the home front that gets his attention. Rex meets the victim of an abusive husband and finds answers in his own ingenuity, with the help of friends.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Tim Wynne-Jones