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Zoe in Wonderland

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  254 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods introduces introverted, daydream-prone Zoe, who’s afraid her real life will never be as exciting as her imaginary one.
Zoe Reindeer considers herself “just Zoe”—never measuring up to her too-perfect older sister or her smarty-pants little brother. Truthfully, though, she’d rather just blend in with the plants at the family bus
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Rating details
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Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: green, j, realistic
Dibs for SRP 2017, TRLers. :)
I was totally charmed by this. Zoe Reindeer has a really strong voice, and I was in it from the first sentence.
Two of the books I considered booktalking to elementary school students in 2017 had eerily similar covers, to the point that I felt I couldn't promote both of them. This one won out after a quick assessment (the other one was Two Naomis).

I loved the planty illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. I loved her unique voice. And I was pulled throug
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much; I read it in two days. I think this book would be great for middle school girls, especially 6th or 7th grade. Most children will be able to relate to Zoe, her siblings, her relationships at school and her finding herself.
Lauren H
this was great i loved it
Rachel Rooney
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, jf, fiction
A 2018-2019 Missouri Mark Twain Readers Award preliminary nominee (grades 4-6).

Zoe G. Reindeer loves plants, hanging out with her best friend Quincy, and the family business, Doc Reindeer's Exotic Plant Wonderland. When a man from Madagascar asks about a rare plant that they do not carry, Zoe decides to grow one from a seed, and thus begins a season of transformation for everyone.

This is not a fast-moving book, but more of a character-study, but I really enjoyed it. I liked Zoe and her family an
Iman Foster
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very special story about a young girl and her many special and unique relationships. Loved it!
Lovely, refreshing story with an African American 11 year old girl as the protagonist. Dreamy and prone to thinking about what "Imaginary Zoe" would do, she sometimes gets in trouble. Told from her perspective--like creating lists of what is not my fault and two things that are absolutely my fault. One that is not, is that her last name is really Reindeer and her daddy's business is really Doc Reindeer's Exotic Plant Wonderland. She likes to putter around in the Wonderland. Her older sister is t ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
"If they gave awards for being boring, I'd get a gold medal."

Zoe G. Reindeer isn't very good at making friends. In fact, she often spends time in daydreams, or as "Imaginary Zoe," which is way more exciting. After all, her older sister, Jade, has tons of friends and younger brother, Harper, is practically a genius. How can just plain Zoe compete with that? She does, however, have one very good friend, Quincy. Quincy's interest in film-making always makes things more exciting.

And Zoe loves spend
Amanda Harrison
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite the title, Zoe in Wonderland is a realistic novel set almost entirely in California. However, it contains a bit of real magic in the guise of a South African jet propulsion lab worker, a baobab tree, and a greenhouse.

While Zoe describes herself as boring she is actually a strong character and her voice rings very true. While I sometimes chided her for not knowing some basic information (she seems young for her age), I honestly found her a bit refreshing as she is quite true to many youn
Kelly Snyder
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you need a good wholesome book that has a good ending then Zoe in Wonderland is for you. This book doesn't cover anything new, but it does a great job of showing the feelings a little girl who, as she puts it, is "just Zoe." Really Zoe doesn't see herself as any thing but just plain, nothing special and maybe a little weird. Like her dad she loves plants and can't imagine a life without them that is until a tall man from Madagascar walks into Wonderland and sees something special in Zoe. The ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Woods, Brenda Zoe in Wonderland, 196 pages. Penguin Random House. 2016. $17. Language: G (0 swears, 0 "f"); Mature Content: G; Violence: G;

Zoe is an imaginative young girl who feels like she just can't find her place. Her family owns a plant nursery on the property where they live. One day an intriguing man comes to the nursery and changes her life and her world.

Zoe is a charming character that is full of creativity and whimsy. She is easy to relate to and makes you think about the world you liv
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely good for discussion. African American family, without race being a real topic - casual diversity. Zoe is very shy, but getting out of it. Family feels fairly realistic. Different kinds of smart (between Harper and Zoe and even big sister Jade - who is socially smart).

Not much plot. More a character study. A lot happens, but she doesn’t make much happen. I see how the scientist from the jet propulsion lab is necessary to get the story started, but he kept coming back and giving her boo
Pam Schwartz
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm so glad I read this. It's realistic fiction featuring a protagonist who doesn't quite no where she fits in or how to feel about that, but never is never whiny. I don't want to give too much away, but Zoe must deal with making friends, losing friends, illness, and moving. I love the way everything is handled. Realistically dramatic is how I would describe it, and I would recommend it to 4th graders and up. It would also be appropriate for a strong reader in 3rd grade.
Erin Fowler
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Zoe G Reindeer has an amazing imagination. She doesn't really fit in and has only one friend in the world, a boy named Quincy. Zoe has taken it upon herself to learn about an endangered tree and with the help of her friend they try to grow the trees and surprise her dad. Zoe is faced with some challenges that she must confront. Will she be unraveled by these challenges or will she rise above them? Read to find out!
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ohhhh Zoe! It's hard to fit in when you have a last name like Reindeer, you love science and plants, and you frequently lose yourself in your daydreams. There were moments I laughed out loud and some made me a little teary. I read this with my 5th grade daughter and we had great conversations about family, friends, and being yourself.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
For some reason, Zoe and I just didn't click. I liked the plot, just couldn't connect with Zoe. The emphasis on science and plant love in this book is awesome, and I love how Zoe slowly emerges from her shell. The twist at the end was unexpected, but I liked it. For all you happy ending lovers out there, you'll like it. :)
Dee Price
Great story about a shy and slightly awkward girl named Zoe Reindeer with a great imagination but she feels lost as the middle child in her family and has a lot of trouble making friends. Throughout the course of the story, Zoe finds herself and her voice and her story will want to make you laugh, cry, and cheer for Ms. Zoe Reindeer.
Ann Dague
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Good for 4th through 6th grade.
Cute story about a very shy 11 year old who frequently disappears into her imagination (in the form of daydreams) to escape reality. Lots of kids will relate to her awkwardness and shyness.

Like how it showed her journey to self discovery and self confidence.

Has nothing to do with "Alice in Wonderland."
Donna Dobihal Smith
If your last name is Reindeer, and you live in a wonderland, life must be interesting...and it is. I listened to the quick-read audio, and the narrator is great - all the voices are unique, with their own personalities coming through. A good read for a girl or even the whole family!
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun, sweet and engaging story about a middle child feeling lost amidst her family and navigating a time of many changes with her chin held high and her heart trying to remain open. Such a sweet main character. A wonderful slice of life novel for late grade school/middle school readers.
Lisa Howard
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Reading this as an adult I wanted there to be more to the story, but for the YA audience this is written for I think it is a must read.
Sharon Buxton
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
B+. fiction, children's fiction, grade 5, realistic fiction, horticulture, friendship
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book it had a great ending!!! One of the best books I've read.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. I liked it. I love how Zoe thinks, it's different than the way most people think. She is very imaginative. I recommend it.

Bradie, Age 10
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Olsburg Library
Shelves: in-2018
I love Zoe's voice throughout the book. I also like how she learns & grows....
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Sometimes it's hard to find where you fit. Especially if you have big feet, an overactive imagination, and a Christmas-themed last name.
Angela Usas
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read for Micha's first book club. Loved Zoe's character and the people in her life.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bks-grade-4-5
entertaining realistic fiction for tweens
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
4.5 stars
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