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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical, moving and ultimately hopeful, 25 Dec. 2011
This review is from: The Midnight Zoo (Hardcover)
The story is set in Eastern Europe during World War 2. Two Romani gypsy children, carrying a baby in their backpack, have been on the run for weeks after soldiers ambushed their settlement. Fearing for their lives, they travel under the cover of darkness, scrounging food where they can. One night they arrive in a bombed out village, deserted apart from a few animals trapped in a zoo. Over the course of the night, both the boys and the animals will share their stories of how the war has affected them and also the inhabitants of the now-deserted village.

This is officially a young adult book, but the language and themes are quite adult and therefore it would suit older readers. It's a moving story and beautifully written - one of those books where you find yourself re-reading passages for the sheer pleasure of the words. For children, it introduces concepts such as the persecution of the Romani people during World War 2 and the impact of war on innocent bystanders. It is more fantastical and less plot driven than a book like The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, but would probably appeal to a similar audience. I also found it reminiscent of Yann Martel's writing. A slim, but magical book.
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