- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Walker (2 Jan. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140632938X
- ISBN-13: 978-1406329384
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Midnight Zoo Paperback – 2 Jan 2014
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This beautiful and sad book will stay with readers long after the story is done. --School Library Journal
This somber yet not hopeless fable set during WWII offers a haunting portrait of families, human and otherwise, torn apart...Lindgren Award-winner Hartnett combines powerful prose with magical realism to heighten this setting and develop the personalities of the animals that the boys meet, who begin to speak after another round of bombing. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A magical story that questions what it means to be free. The first novel by Sonia Hartnett since winning the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize in 2006." (The Guardian)
"Two gypsy children who are trying to outrun a war find themselves seeking sanctuary in an abandoned zoo in a city that has been destroyed in battle. Richard Aspel captures the fear and uncertainty of the children on their own while not allowing these emotions to detract from the magical aspects of the story. And when the animals in the zoo begin talking to the children, Aspel’s talent especially shines, his versatile voice capturing the personality of each animal, particularly the strong, proud lioness. He brings them to life in his deep, slightly gravelly voice as they tell their stories. Their unique pitches and accents allow the listener to immediately identify each character, even as the lines of reality begin to blur." (AudioFile Magazine) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I really struggled with this book. Had it not been on the Carnegie shortlist I'm not sure I would have finished it. It took me three weeks to read, an incredibly long time for me, especially as at 192 pages this is a really short book. I'm not sure why I struggled so much. This is a beautifully written, thought provoking book, from a distance I can tell that it is incredibly well written. That, however, I think may be the problem, I view this book from a distance. All through the book I felt emotionally detached; I didn't `feel' the storyline or the characters. I kept waiting for it to suddenly click, but it never did. It shouldn't be a problem with the writing, this is a book that has been crafted rather than written so I'm assuming it's the subject matter. I am not an animal lover so maybe it is that. I also found the idea of two young boys, at the ages of 10 and 12, looking after a baby fairly unbelievable. But then this may well appeal to the intended audience and after all this is a book where animals can talk so is based it a world out of the realms of the ordinary anyway.
The story does have a magical, almost dreamlike quality and this is highlighted by the very simple but beautiful illustrations. The copy that I read was in hardback (another thing I usually dislike!) but I can't imagine how this would translate to a paperback. I'm assuming the publishers feel the same given the time lapse between the publication of the hardback and now. Visually this is a stunningly striking book.
Verdict: Beautifully written and visually stunning. A magical, dreamlike story that I just didn't quite connect with emotionally.
This is not an easy book to read, not because it is not simple, but because it is profound and requires a lot of thought to really appreciate it for what it is. I recommend it for fourteens and up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good story about the holocaust and how two boys survive it, which is very hard. I like it.Published 20 months ago by Evgeny Boyarov
This is an unusual story - it's one that I enjoyed even though it was not a particularly happy tale.Published on 21 Dec. 2013 by Jude M
Was a good holiday read and quite thought provoking. A nice change, original story and likeable characters. I recommend itPublished on 17 Feb. 2013 by Mis L. Gormley