Zebra Forest

Zebra Forest

Book - 2013
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When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. She told Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest -- stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same. Driven by suspense and psychological intrigue, this novel deftly portrays an unfolding standoff of truth against family secrets, and offers an affecting look at two resourceful, imaginative kids as they react and adapt to the hand they've been dealt.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780763660413
0763660418
Branch Call Number: J/ FICTION GEWIRTZ ADINA
Characteristics: 200 p. ; 23 cm

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Driven by suspense and psychological intrigue, this novel deftly portrays an unfolding standoff of truth against family secrets, and offers an affecting look at two resourceful, imaginative kids as they react and adapt to the hand they've been dealt.


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IndyPL_SteveB Jul 11, 2019

Sixth-grader Annie and her younger brother, Rew, live in a small country cottage with their grandmother. Their mother abandoned them when they were preschoolers and their father was killed by an angry man. Gran isn’t in good health, so school and even meals are on an “occasional” basis. One night everything changes when a major prisoner escape occurs at a nearby facility and an escapee breaks into their house to hide. It quickly becomes clear that this prisoner is their father and that they have been lied to. Their *father* was “the angry man.”

This situation starts as a hostage drama but soon becomes more thoughtful as the children try to figure out this man they don’t remember. Their father turns out to be someone who is mostly good but with some serious anger issues. Which part of his personality will win out? This plot looks simple but the characters are so well drawn that the story feels true-to-life. Very well written.

Great candidate for KCLS's You Choose the Next Newbery! A story that remains suprisingly gripping in view of how much of the story is about waiting. Protagonist's voice is authentic and nicely conveys her evolving feelings as she copes with a rather extraordinary situation. Some scary moments, but just the right amount to keep you wanting to find out what happens. Great insights about the different characters' personalities, motivations, weaknesses, and mistakes. Definitely a worthwhile and enjoyable read for grades 4-6.

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LibrarianDestinee
Oct 25, 2013

Suspenseful as all get-out with a wrenching story of a family torn apart by a terrible crime.

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mauve_bat_18
Jul 15, 2018

mauve_bat_18 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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lucyliu100
May 23, 2015

lucyliu100 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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epstowe
Jul 13, 2014

epstowe thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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epstowe
Jul 13, 2014

"If you're going to do something, make sure you do it with excellence"

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