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The Midnight Zoo Audio CD – Audiobook, 13 Sep 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 13 Sep 2011
£18.36
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing; Unabridged edition (13 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1742377408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742377407
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.6 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,178,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A heartbreaking, magical story of life and liberty. The Bookseller A moving and original story with timeless relevance. The Daily Mail An exquisitely written, illustrated and produced novel. The Irish Times Alternately lyrical and stark, and it manages to combine adventure with a more thoughtful exploration of the nature of freedom and hope. Offermann's beautiful pencil illustrations at the beginning of each chapter evoke the message at the heart of this book, that though cages come and get you, the determination to endure will win out. Booklist This is storytelling at its best! National Geographic Kids The story ends in a dream-like manner that leaves the reader with a powerful sense of sympathy for the characters The Use of English (The English Association Journal for Tachers of English) There are lessons to be learnt about life in this book. Teen Titles --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"A heartbreaking, magical story of life and liberty." (The Bookseller)

"A moving and original story with timeless relevance." (The Daily Mail)

"Hertnett's prose weaves its magical, poignant spell." (Readings)

"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) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Hardcover
Alison for Big Book Little 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.
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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Having read Hartnett's book, The Silver Donkey and enjoyed it, I pounced on The Midnight Zoo when I found it in our local library. I thought it was beautifully written, and although the language is simple, the ideas they describe and the emotions the words provoke in the reader are not. It is a tale of three Romany children, separated from their parents in WWII, and how they are roaming the countryside, simply trying to survive. The weight of responsibility weighs heavily on the oldest boy, Andrej, and his difficulties are crystallised when the children end up taking shelter in an abandoned zoo one night. The book gets rather mystical here, as the children find that they can communicate with the caged animals, and every creature shares their story of capture and their experience of the war, and their dreams of release.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this novel truly amazing and im not surprised it has been put forward for an award! read this book, dont judge a book by is cover, literally! 9/10
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought this in Kindle version for my daughter from a recommended reading list for Y7/8 at her school. She read it in 2 days and loved it! Would definitely recommend.
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