The Secret Zoo Hardcover – June 1, 2010
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“An action-packed and breathless story about teamwork . . . the story should appeal both to animal-lovers and a broader audience.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
Something strange is happening at the Clarksville City Zoo. Late at night, monkeys are scaling the walls and searching the neighborhood—but what are they looking for?
Noah, his sister Megan, and their best friends, Richie and Ella, live next door to the zoo. Megan is the first to notice the puzzling behavior of some of the animals. One day Megan disappears, and her brother and their friends realize it's up to them to find her. Their only choice is to follow a series of clues and sneak into the zoo. But once inside, will they discover there's much more to the Clarksville City Zoo than they could ever have guessed?
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I felt that was a little unnecessarily traumatic. If your child is a gentle soul, or a hero-type like mine, this may be a little disturbing. It gave him bad dreams. I would have liked to have known about this before he started reading it, so maybe another parent will benefit from the fore-knowledge.
I downloaded The Secret Zoo after hearing about it at a local elementary school. I'm glad I did. I read it out loud to my 10-year-old (at the time) son and wife. We all enjoyed the book. The main characters are nice kids that my son could identify with. He especially liked Richie, the comic-relief character and adorable goofball. All of the characters, though, took a backseat to the awesome animals. I think I've mentioned them. Along their adventures in the Secret Zoo, the Action Scouts (the name the heroes give themselves collectively) meet and befriend polar bears, rhinos, prairie dogs, and more. They also encounter scary (age appropriate) sasquatches! What's not to like?
All animal fans and everyone who has ever wondered where all the locked doors and mysterious nooks and crannies in a zoo lead should read this fun book.