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The Secret Zoo (The Secret Zoo #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,527 ratings  ·  227 reviews
When three friends link a girl's disappearance to unusual activity at their local zoo, they discover that each exhibit holds a hidden passage to a secret zoo kingdom. To rescue their friend, the children must band with the animals, enter this mysterious world, and embark on an exciting adventure in the first book of an epic series for middle-grade readers.
Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 6th 2007 by Second Wish Press
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Mar 17, 2009 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kids grades 1-7 (read aloud to grades 1 - 2)
Recommended to Wendy by: Kris Cueter
I lead a book club with my son's class each year. He is in 4th grade. Our group read The Secret Zoo this winter. All 7 kids loved it! I assigned pages each week and they complained every week about having to wait to read on. They stopped me in the halls to discuss what they thought was going to happen next.

They story is unique and very well told. While some parents may be put off by the "missing child" in the beginning of the story, we must remember that adult imagination is far more dark than
Jennifer Bond
I am a third grade teacher, and I read this book to my class. It was an absolute hit...and we can't wait for the second book to be published. The adventure that transpires throughout the book is magical and amazing! Bryan's vivid descriptions allow you to visualize each scene and be part of the action! All of my students LOVED this book...and thought Bryan was the most awesome author ever! We had the opportunity to have him come and speak to our 3-5 graders, and he gave such a powerful message t ...more
Luann Birchmeier
As an educator of many years, I was exceptionally happy with how enthralled my students were with the book, "The Secret Zoo." The suspense in the story captivated the students and they didn't want to put the book down. This book was a great addition to my Fantasy lesson plans. The students are anxiously waiting for the 2nd book to come out.

My school was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of having a visit from the author. His presentation to the students was far superior than any other that
This is a great book! I don't noramlly read kids books, but this one caught my eye one day at work and I just had to check it out! Although the book is definitely a quick read for tenns and adults, it is very well written and well thought out. The beginning was wonderfully mysterious and suspenseful; it gave me shivers reading it. I also like how Bryan Chick starts out giving you a very tiny hint and then starts the actual story from a point a month later. All the characters were delightful and ...more
While my children hung on every word of this book when I read it to them, I have reservations about recommending it to friends. I have been spoiled by high quality children's literature, so I was very disappointed by the lackluster character development, the excessive use of the term "rear end," and several aspects of the plot. It read like a bad children's movie, the kind that goes straight to DVD. That being said, my children are dying to hear the second volume.
The Secret Zoo was okay, but (IMO) there were too many faults.

#1. I felt like the 'action' was either going way to fast or way too slow.

#2. The chapter names were annoying. I mean, come on, are "Ella Holds Her Breath," "Ella Becomes Speechless" and "Noah Has Company" really good names? I think that the author was trying to be funny, but believe me, they just take away from the story. And compared to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, they are completely uncreative. Even if you don't compare th
Charlyn  Trussell
Noah, his sister Megan, and friends Richie and Ellie built their Action Scouts clubhouse in a tree in Noah and Megan's backyard, next to the Clarksville City Zoo. One night when Megan believes she spies monkeys atop neighborhood roofs, she becomes very curious and begins a journal. And then Megan mysteriously disappears.

Just when Noah believes he will never see his sister again, a bright blue bird leaves him a message to visit the monkeys at the zoo. More clues and pieces from his sister's jour
Sebastian C.

Chick, Bryan. The Secret Zoo. New York, NY: Harper Collins (Grenwillow Books), 2011. Print. pp310

OMG!!!!!!!!!When your sister gets lost in the middle of the night, what would you do? Well, Noah’s sister Megan has disappeared somewhere during the middle of the night. They have been trying to find her for many days but could never find a trace of her anywhere. The Secret Zoo by Brian Chick is a mystery packed thrilling book which for my opinion is an amazing book. So the story started like that Me
I often find myself damning Harry Potter and Percy Jackson as much as I love them it makes life hard for other fictional characters to even try to compete. Sadly these characters didn't have a chance. There was very little if any character development in this story (and there were only three characters to speak of).

Our community was lucky enough to host Bruce Coville a few years ago. My daughter often quotes him as he talked about a character that was in peril... "and he's barely holding on to t
Trisha Sengupta
A lovely introduction to a wonderful world, filled with animals that understand humans, as well as humans that understand animals. Starts out lighthearted, but the plot does get a little bit more intense as you read it. The protagonists are well-developed, and you can't help but fall in love with each one. The rest of the series is also a couple books you should really look at.
This was adorable! And fun and fascinating and exciting and entertaining and so much better than I'd expected!

I just was captivated by the whole concept of a world beyond the zoo. That was SO well done. It's delightful to think that the animals get to take turns being in the zoo enclosures and so therefore they also get to take turns being out and free.

I also thought the mystery of where Megan had went was revealed perfectly. Having the animals deliver her notes one at a time to lead the scouts
Cambria Speed
Nov 01, 2014 Cambria Speed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who love zoos and animals
Recommended to Cambria by: mom
I thought it was amazing because there was a little mystery and a lot of adventure.The characters in this story are Noah,Ella,Richie,Tank,Mr.Darby,and Noah's younger sister Megan.In the beginning of this story,Megan goes missing for three weeks and nobody knows were,except for the city zoo!Find out were she went by reading this book!
Loved, loved this book! You know it's a great children's book when you want to keep going to see what happens after you're finished reading to your kids for the night. I've been reading it to my 8 year old daughter for the past few weeks. The adventure is great, the kids are heroes, the animals are very cool and hilarious!

It has a great underlying message about the role humans play in preventing animal extinction. The missing child part was tough to take as a parent (there were parts I couldn't
Mar 06, 2011 Brenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle grade fantasy series
Recommended to Brenda by: Front Cover Illustration pick
Shelves: fantasy
This was such a fun adventurous story. It is all about a zoo but not just any ordinary zoo it is the Secret Zoo. The heroes of the story are both the children and the animals. Each with their own special abilities. I love the authors vivid descriptions of the animals habitats and especially the one of the Forest of Flight. It is just like I would picture it to be when at the zoo. I also loved the fact that these were not talking animals but they sure do say a lot in their own way. Some may be pu ...more
This review and rating is from Claire. I have not read the book.

"This book was really interesting and good. There was a lot of adventure. I want to keep reading the rest of the series."
-Claire (8 years old)

When I asked her if she liked it as much as Ivy and Bean books she said yes (because I don't like to use that 5 stars lightly). I think I might take a chance and read it sometime too, just to see what she liked about it so much.
Lovely children's book. It reminded me of other magical books The Golden Compass and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is a charming book with likable characters and enough magic to spice up everything. With a wonderful storytelling voice, Bryan Chick is able to draw us into a world where there are magical doors to the Inside, the secret zoo inside the zoo.

The book is appealing for lower elementary students due to the short chapters, the high pacing, and easy to read narrative. Though
When Noah's younger sister, Megan, goes missing it is up to the remaining Action Scouts to find her and bring her back home. Noah and Megan's friends, Ella and Richie make up the adventurous group. Little did they ever dream that they would take on such a heroic and dangerous mission. The friends live next to The Clarksville City Zoo and they feel, no, they know that the zoo has some mysterious hold on Megan. Each day they venture into the zoo near closing time and are greeted by different anima ...more
Lisa M.
It's just a sweet book for young adults about a group of kids who stumble across secrets at the zoo. There are friendly animals-like Podgy the penguin who can fly, Dodie the Dodo bird, Blizzard the Polar Bear and Little BigHorn the Rhino to name a few. It's fun to see Noah set out to rescue his missing sister Megan after she mysteriously disappears leaving only a few clues behind. His friends Ella and Richie join him on the adventure into a new amazing world hidden below the neighboring zoo.

I loved the book The Secret Zoo by, Bryan Chick. It is about 4 little kids and the youngest named Magen got solon and the 3 other kids had to save her... I think that if you like adventure and misery you would like this book!!
Kay Evans
Dear Reader,

The Secret Zoo was my favorite book when I was seven or eight. I didn't know it was a sequel up until now. Anyway...

Birds flying into your room and dropping a piece of paper with holes on some of the words, flashing lights at night in the zoo, Polar bears getting out of their exhibits through unknown exits. All of that is questions among questions.

Sasquatches, I wonder what made Bryan Chick add Sasquatches to his story?
Penguins learning to fly and they're not puffins? Sheesh! So many
Alison Strumbeck
Such a disappointment. A lot of leading up to a climax that is really lame and then just becomes preposterous.
Michael Keren
Didn't realize when I bought this book, the first in a series, that it was geared towards pre-teen and young teens. I thought it was more of a YA. It is a fun story and I am looking forward to giving it to my nieces for Christmas this year. It is the story of a group of friends who go searching for one of their group who has gone missing. In the search they discover that there is a parallel zoo to the local zoo and that a group of rare animals are holding their friend. It has imagination and adv ...more
The Secret Zoo is a little like We Bought a Zoo meets A Night at the Museum. Here's a brief summary...
There are strange things going on at the Clarksville City Zoo. Late one night Megan sees monkeys scaling the walls and rooftops.
Noah and their best friends, Richie and Ella,also known as the Action Scouts, live next door to the zoo. Megan is the first of the Scouts to notice the strange behavior of some of the animals. When Megan disappears,Noah and their friends are determined to find her. They
It's a page turner, suspenseful good for kids and adults.
When I found The Secret Zoo at my local bookstore I was so excited to read it! I love children's books and I am trying to catch up on everything I missed when I was a kid. As soon as I started reading the book I was hooked. The book was very mysterious, which kept me interested throughout, and there were lots cute animals that all have their own personalities. Blending mystery and fantasy makes for an awesome read.

I loved the plot of the book and found it very entertaining. I was glad to read so
Awesome! Captured the imaginations of every 4th grader in our school book club - many said that they could not put the book down once they started it! I actually felt the same way - and I haven't been nine years old for quite some time! --------------------------------------

“The Secret Zoo” is one of those rare books that both avid and reluctant readers do NOT want to set down until it is finished! Bryan Chick’s descriptions are so vivid you can see the action as if you were watching a movie. Br
Barb Middleton
When Megan sees some escaped zoo animals, she runs to tell her older brother, Noah. But by the time he gets to where she saw them they are gone. He doesn't believe her and thinks she was seeing things.

A couple weeks later Megan disappears and the family is devastated. When an exotic bird from the nearby zoo flies into Noah's bedroom leaving him part of Megan's journal, Noah begins his own investigation into his missing sister. With the help of some highly intelligent animals he and his friends,
Megan, Noah, Ella and Richie are best friends known as the Action Scouts. When Megan thinks she sees monkeys on the rooftops in her neighborhood one night, her brother Noah chalks it up to her being crazy. However, when Megan disappears, Noah begins to wonder if it has something to do with the zoo near their home. After being visited one night by a bird who brings him a flyer from the zoo, Noah's wondering begins to seem plausible. Soon, Noah and the rest of the Action Scouts make it their missi ...more
Andrew Marr
The set of five novels comprising The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick have achieved a good deal of popularity, and for good reason. The loving relationships between Noah, his sister Megan, and their two friends Ella and Richie are touching and inspiring. In the first book, when Megan has been kidnapped by Sasquatches who are aligned with Man of Shadows, her brother and friends risk themselves to rescue her.

The love between them extends to a group of gifted animals they meet, a polar bear, a kingfisher
The Secret Zoo is a magical book about four kids part of a group called the Action Scouts; Noah, Ella, Richie, and Megan. Megan goes missing for weeks and the scouts decide to find her and get her back, wherever she is. Since Noah is Megan's older brother, he goes almost insane before he makes a connection-the zoo. Noah and Megan live right across from the Clarksville City Zoo, and Noah realizes that it may be the cause of Megan's disappearance. Right away Noah gathers up Ella and Richie and th ...more
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The idea of The Secret Zoo came to me when I was just nine years old. I wondered what it would be like if zoo exhibits had secret passages that allowed kids to get in and animals to get out. Over twenty years, this idea matured in complexity and length until it had become an epic story, to be told in ten full-length novels. When I'm not exploring the worlds in my head, I spend time speaking to lik ...more
More about Bryan Chick...

Other Books in the Series

The Secret Zoo (5 books)
  • The Secret Zoo: Secrets and Shadows (The Secret Zoo, #2)
  • The Secret Zoo: Riddles and Danger (The Secret Zoo, #3)
  • The Secret Zoo: Traps and Specters (The Secret Zoo, #4)
  • The Secret Zoo: Raids and Rescues (The Secret Zoo, #5)
The Secret Zoo: Secrets and Shadows (The Secret Zoo, #2) The Secret Zoo: Riddles and Danger (The Secret Zoo, #3) The Secret Zoo: Traps and Specters (The Secret Zoo, #4) The Secret Zoo: Raids and Rescues (The Secret Zoo, #5) The Secret Zoo Complete Collection: The Secret Zoo, Secrets and Shadows, Riddles and Danger, Traps and Specters, Raids and Rescues

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“Monkeys had escaped the zoo and were climbing over a house in her neighborhood.” 0 likes
“Three sheets of notebook paper lay on the ground—colorful red pages with purple lines and blue stars in the corners.” 0 likes
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