Mary's Reviews > The Midnight Zoo

The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
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's review
Dec 23, 11

it was amazing
Read in December, 2011

This brief, harrowing, but ultimately hopeful, fable, puts us in the minds and hearts of two young Romany boys, Andrej and Tomas, during World War II. The boys and their baby sister are the only survivors of a massacre. On their travels, they come across a bombed village with a zoo in the middle. The only living things in this village are the animals in the zoo. Children and animals begin to share their stories-

If this book isn't as well-reviewed as it should be, that may be because it is hard to determine an audience for it. The story is harsh (though also beautiful and hopeful); the animals are very true to animal nature and the two small boys have witnessed things no child should ever see. Nevertheless, affection and compassion - and love - endure. And the writing is utterly lovely. I'd recommend this book to any child old enough to appreciate Kate Seredy's "The Singing Tree" or the works of L.M. Boston, and to all adults who would like to be reminded of the true innocence of childhood. Extraordinary.

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