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Zebra Forest Hardcover


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Zebra Forest + Counting by 7s + Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
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Best Children's Books
This title has been selected by the Amazon editors as one of the Best Children's Books of 2013 for Ages 9-12.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Debut edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763660418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763660413
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: Eleven-year-old Annie and her younger brother, Rew, have long wondered what their father was like. All they know is what Gran told them--that he died in a fight--but Gran is an unreliable narrator at best. Life was already unraveling when a sudden turn of events shatters what little stability remained and relationships are questioned, lies exposed, and both children suddenly have to grow up even more than they already have. Zebra Forest is a slim, suspense-filled novel that speaks volumes about family stories riddled with secrets, betrayal in the name of love, and finding forgiveness.--Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-It's almost summer and 11-year-old Annie Morgan has a small list of things she hopes to accomplish during her vacation: grow tall, have an adventure, and meet her father. Sadly, the last wish is impossible given her father's death in a brutal fight many years before. Annie and her younger brother, Rew, live with their caring, but mentally unstable, grandmother in the backwoods of Sunshine. The siblings pass the time in the "Zebra Forest" of birches and oaks behind their house, weaving elaborate fantasies of their dad as a pirate or secret agent. When a prison escapee barges into their house and holds them hostage, the siblings are shocked to discover that the interloper is their presumed-dead father, Andrew Snow. Gran's fragile state renders her incapable of helping the children process this revelation. Rew lashes out against his captor, refusing to believe that this man is his dad. Annie is torn between siding with her brother and her desire to know their father. Gewirtz veers away from melodrama, deftly capturing nuances of family dynamics in spare prose. Another notable element is the thematic parallel with Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, which the children read throughout the story. Despite Zebra Forest's slow start, audiences will appreciate this novel's multilayered characters and touching message of hope and forgiveness.-Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
As an adult, I liked reading this book.
Cherie
It really makes you thing about how the characters should act and what will happen if they will act this way.
Konstantinos Chrysoulas
There is enough tension to keep the story moving and led me to want to finish the book.
Heidi Grange

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Franklin on April 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Labeling _Zebra Forest_ a children's book is like calling _To Kill a Mockingbird_ or _Huckleberry Finn_ children's stories. Yes, the main characters are children. Yes, sex and bad language are absent. Yes, children will love it.

The story zings along fast enough to meet modern expectations. But like Harper Lee's and Mark Twain's classics, _Zebra Forest_ shares attributes of the very best literature. All of the characters are portrayed as three-dimensional, realistic people. Ms. Gewitz lovingly reveals the family dynamics as mother, son and grandchildren struggle to understand and accept the revelation of long-held secrets.

This beautifully written, coming-of-age story will touch your heart and remain in your mind. I hope teachers adopt the book for use in their classrooms; _Zebra Forest_ has the makings of a modern classic.

I can't wait for the next book by Adina Rishe Gewitz.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By LCooper on April 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a school librarian I read hundreds of books each year. This new author has written a story that is original, beautiful and satisfying. I was drawn to the book by the intriguing title and eye-catching cover art as well as the story overview. I could not put the book down! From the first page I was drawn into the lives of Annie and Rew and finished the last page a few hours later completely satisfied with the outcome. Read it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Jungreis on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was refreshing to see a novel geared towards middle-school students that was not a cookie-cutter formulaic title. Gewirtz has written a quality and engaging novel - my 11 year old son could not put it down, and devoured the book in one sitting! He said he loved it. We can't wait for the next one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kat McQueen on August 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some reviewers seem to find the themes too mature for young readers. I couldn't disagree more. The author handles difficult and sensitive topics with real grace, and the story itself is very compelling. The whole book runs about 200 pages and is broken into short chapters, making it a good candidate for challenged middle school readers who want something gritty and real that will hold their attention. Despite the fact that the book deals with such issues as imprisonment and child abandonment, and includes some scenes that border on violence, it never crosses the line and remarkably--given the content--includes no profane language. The characters, particularly the hero Annie and her younger brother Rew, are interesting and three-dimensional. I loved Annie's determined quest for the truth about her father, and her willingness to face whatever that truth might be--not easy for a young girl who discovers that the father she thought was dead has actually been in prison for killing a man. I also loved Rew's understandable outrage and courageous determination to break free when the children are held prisoner in their home. Overall, an entertaining and engaging book--and also refreshingly different from most fare for young readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By chrisb on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a teacher, I used this book along side Wonder to do a character study. It is a wonderfully engaging book, and every child can see themselves in some way reflected through Ren or Annie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ariela Yashinsky on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was one of the books in our district nominated to get an award. I thought it was really good, and it deserves more recognition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jchaul on January 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I liked this book. It was simple yet interesting. I am not sure if it was supposed to be a youth book or YA book but I don't think really young ones would like it. Also, I am not sure exactly what the author was trying to tell us but it was a pretty good read.
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By Cherie on April 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As an adult, I liked reading this book. It kept my interest while being a fast read for me. Very good at describing things, right down to the smell.
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