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The Upper Zoo [Kindle Edition]

Michael Wolf , Joel Chernoff
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $14.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Paperback $13.06  
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Book Description

Discover the Truth
There are many kinds of “smart” and many kinds of “wise.”
The Upper Zoo tells a story of a twelve year old Jewish boy in the 1960s who is impacted by the life and love of an autistic child with a firm commitment to Jesus. After being placed in a class for under-achievers, Jonathan finds his life changed forever. The book takes an unusual approach, revealing a world of dysfunctional pain and spiritual triumph through the eyes of a twelve-year old boy. Through surprising twists and turns, Jonathan uncovers secrets that will drastically affect his life and the lives of those closest to him.
No one who reads The Upper Zoo will be able to put it down—it is an inspirational and poignant novel.

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Editorial Reviews


“A slice of life from the 1960s. You will not be able to put this refreshingly entertaining book down.” —Sid Roth, “It’s Supernatural” TV host

“The Upper Zoo is an exquisitely written novel that will tug at your soul. Those who enter its world will find it deeply affecting and poignant.” -- Jonathan Bernis, Jewish Voice Ministries

About the Author

Michael Robert Wolf has led Beth Messiah Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Cincinnati, Ohio for the past 33 years. He is past president of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and presently serves on their executive committee. He has produced several children’s video movies and is presently working with Kingdom Pictures on an independent film he wrote called “Sound of the Spirit,” due to be released early in 2012.

Product Details

  • File Size: 471 KB
  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 076844098X
  • Publisher: Destiny Image (February 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007CJX086
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,531 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid! February 29, 2012
True page-turners are rare. Page-turners that address multiple "light" subjects like autism, bullying, sexual abuse, infidelity, racism, and Jewish-Christian relations...even rarer. The Upper Zoo is such a rarity.

Michael Wolf has crafted an accessible and compelling story that tackles some of the most difficult subjects we face in today's world--all while placing his tale in a precisely recreated 1963. We see this world through the mind of Wolf's protagonist, 13-year-old Jonathan Richman, who is navigating his eighth grade year (by itself a challenging endeavor), when his world is turned upside down by disappointment, betrayal, rape, sadness, anti-semitism, and violence. Yet into this darkness bursts the light of wisdom, hope, joy, and love, conveyed mainly through an autistic teenager and cleverly underscored by the infatuation with Thomas Edison of Jonathan's bright, loving younger brother Billy. In the end, the reader is left pitying the villains, seeing in them victims as well as perpetrators, while experiencing hope for Jonathan and others--and for us all--because of the transformational power of love.

The Upper Zoo entertains, enlightens, and encourages the reader while delivering a spiritual message that is piercing but not preachy. Wolf courageously tackles the difficult topics with compassion and wit, drawing the reader into the darkness of it all in sometimes shocking ways, and constructs a resolution that shuns lazy employment of a deus ex machina but leaves the reader prepared to face the uncertainty of the future with hope.

Given the skill of the storyteller, the profound truths expressed, and the ease with which the 270 pages are completed, it would not surprise if The Upper Zoo becomes a widely read and appreciated novel. It is certainly this reviewer's hope that it is not Wolf's last.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read March 1, 2012
I was transported back to the awkward craziness of junior high school in this heart filled tale of a boy in the 60s. Author Michael Wolf writes a compelling tale of families, wounded people and the special value of the autistic in a world that seeks to marginalize all those not seen as "normal." I would highly recommend this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was better than my Saturday afternoon nap. March 11, 2012
It is a rare occasion when anything takes precedence over my weekly nap on Saturday afternoons. "The Upper Zoo" was an exception. I became so involved with the characters, the plot, and the sheer enjoyment of reading a good book, that I could not put it down until I had finished reading it. Michael Robert Wolf is a master of dialogue, and an excellent storyteller. I was sorry when "The Upper Zoo" came to an end, which is the case with all my favorite books, since the characters had come to life and transported me into their world.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! March 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It was a page-turner, and I couldn't put it down. I also really loved the different messages throughout the book, specifically that each person is smart in his or her own way and has a unique gift to share with the world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE UPPER ZOO is amazingly educational and suspenseful! February 27, 2012
By N
As an educator, this is a book I would have used in class to address issues of bullying, family dynamics, religious topics, friends, life skills and other subjects. I had to find out the ending--a surprise--so I was up until 4:00 a.m. This is a must read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UPPER ZOO MAKES EMOTION FLOW February 23, 2012
By JerryR
I got my "Upper Zoo" on Monday afternoon and read it Tuesday. Once I started, I only put it down to eat and do a few errands in town. Great story! Inspirational and thought provoking! Very good descriptive character building and a good human drama I could relate to easily. Michael's skill in developing the story and pulling the reader into it is exceptional. Kudos to Michael Wolf for a great warm human drama! Everyone that has passed through the age of puberty and the transition from from small child to budding young adolescent will relate to the warm, real people in this story. This about a young man that has identity and peer problems, and struggles with the big life transition to adolescence. He becomes your cousin, or brother and you can feel his pain, and his joys as he experiences those precious moments during this difficult time of life. I highly recommend the "Upper Zoo" to one and all!This is the only fictional book I have read in years, and I could hardly put it down! A great pleasure to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartwarming February 22, 2012
By Shmulik
My copy of The Upper Zoo, by Michael Wolf, arrived Monday. Since Monday is my day off, for me, I started reading it Monday night. True to what more than one reviewer said, it is a book that you cannot put down! The characters were well developed and believable [and few enough so that I wasn't swimming in names, like many novels do to me]. The story line was easy to relate to, and the drama breathtaking in places. The humorous descriptions were reminiscent of the book of years ago Up the Down Staircase. Most of all, the emotional and spiritual realities were warm and touching and uplifting. A GREAT success Michael!!

I had it finished by 1:30 a.m. Tuesday night / Wed. morning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining To Read February 24, 2012
By Joel59
I received a signed copy of the book from the author. I'm really enjoying reading the book. The elements of the 1960's are integrated in the story and makes it even more enjoyable to reflect on that time period. I highly recommend this thought provoking book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars superb story!!!
A great cast of characters all with their own problems and struggles,weaved together to tell about sin, the lost, the hopeless, and the power of God and friendship!
Published 4 days ago by Jody Freeland
5.0 out of 5 stars Themes we all can identify with
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a middle aged mom, but could totally relate to the themes of not fitting in, wanting to belong and having to deal with injustices. Read more
Published 7 days ago by P. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Condition of book was excellent.
I am reading book now so far it's good.
Published 12 days ago by Barbara Spears
5.0 out of 5 stars A pure heart can teach more than all else
In the world of so called" righteous people", it was a " pure heart" that was the wisdom that taught all
Published 24 days ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Very thought provoking & real life situations learned through the eyes of a young boy. Kept my attentions through to the end.
Published 27 days ago by Peggy Rowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and life affirming
Initially, I couldn't follow where this author was "taking us"..perhaps because it was written "in the voice" of a boy... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Nurse Kathy
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
This book was well written and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it although it was a little slow to grab me in.
Published 29 days ago by Lorenna Siegrist
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful story.
Thoughtful story of young high schoolers and their struggles. Does not end up neat and tidy. Thoughtful.
Published 1 month ago by Annette Wesolowski
3.0 out of 5 stars Gives insight into how children with challenges in learning might ...
Gives insight into how children with challenges in learning might feel. Character development could be stronger in some instances. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sharon Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars The upper zoo
This is not a book I normally would read but I took a chance and it was really great! Good book for parents
Published 2 months ago by April73
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