Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Midnight Zoo

Title: The Midnight Zoo
Author: Sonya Hartnett
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication date: November 1st 2010
Age group: Middle Grade
Genre: Historical Fiction
Cover rating: 2/5
Content rating: 4/5

Description via Goodreads:
World War II, Eastern Europe: Tomas and his younger brother, Andrej, have fled their Romany encampment which has been besieged by the Germans; they carry Wilma, their baby sister, in a sack. In an abandoned, bombed-out town, the children discover a zoo. In it are a wolf and an eagle, a monkey, bear, lioness, seal, chamois and llama. The animals tell their stories to the children as they try to begin to understand what has become of their lives and, when they try to figure out a way to release the animals, what it means to be free.
My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this. I thought it might be too short, but it turned out to be okay. It follows three gypsy kids on the run during WW2. It's very interesting to see the two boys take on the role of their parents and provide for their younger sister- despite how annoying they find her. Andrej and Tomas end up in a zoo in a ruined village, and try to piece together what's happening to the world. It was different than anything I've read before, and a very unique tale. I enjoyed it a lot, but I found the ending a bit flimsy.

1 comment:

  1. It won last year's Children's Book Council Award, but to be honest I think Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon, another short listed book, was a much better book. One of my students, who was helping me get through the short list, agreed with me on this. I agree about the ending and I thought the opening was rather purple for my tastes. Not really a kids or YA book.


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