Master storyteller Sonya Hartnett crafts a magical and moving fable about war and redemption . . . and what it means to be free.
When the Germans attack their Romany encampment during World War II, Andrej and his younger brother, Tomas, flee through a ravaged countryside under cover of darkness, guarding a secret bundle. Their journey leads to a bombed-out town, where the boys discover a hidden wonder: a zoo filled with creatures in need of hope. Like Andrej and Tomas, the animals--wolf and eagle, monkey and bear, lioness and seal, kangaroo and llama-- have stories to share and a mission to reclaim their lives.
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)
This beautiful and sad book will stay with readers long after the story is done. —School Library Journal