The Secret Zoo is a fun read for the whole family. I first purchased it as an audiobook that my family listened to on a road trip, and we loved it. Fantasy is not my favorite genre, especially for children's literature...and not for my kids either, who prefer action/outdoor adventure books. This story has enough elements of mystery and adventure that we were all able to get past the idea thats its completely unrealistic. I guess that's what fantasy is all about, which is why I don't generally choose it. We dreaded our gas stops because we didn't want to stop, and my husband made us pause it when he would go in so he didn't miss anything. We liked it enough to come home and pre-order the sequel, hopefully we'll like it as well. My eight year old wants to dive right in, but we will probably read it as a family as well, since its a tough read for the younger kids. I gave 4 stars only because some of the magical elements in the book are pretty far fetched, with no plausible basis in the real world, but if this doesn't bother you, and even if it does, its definitely worth a try.