Tuesday, December 6, 2011
The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
Tomas, his younger brother Andrej and their baby sister are the only survivors of a Nazi raid on their home of Gypsies. They have been on the run ever since struggling to stay alive. One night they enter a small zoo and find that they can talk to all the animals living there. The animals have also been struggling to survive since their caretakers have been driven off. The children and animals share their experiences with the war and gradually come to appreciate each other. As the children overcome their fear of the animals they try to find a way to set them free but it seems to be an impossible task. I was hoping for a book full of animal love but this one is much more serious and the animals are less friendly and helpful than I had imagined. I think the distrust is more "realistic" but less fun. However, the message of the book sinks in slowly as you are reading which makes a more lasting impact. The dreamy sequence at the end of the story didn't do anything for me either but I think that's typical of the author from what I've read by her.