The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick is a fun, fast-paced story about friendship, family, and (best of all) awesome animals. Mr. Chick seamlessly blends mystery and magic into a modern fairy tale, part detective novel and part adventure into Narnia.
I downloaded The Secret Zoo after hearing about it at a local elementary school. I'm glad I did. I read it out loud to my 10-year-old (at the time) son and wife. We all enjoyed the book. The main characters are nice kids that my son could identify with. He especially liked Richie, the comic-relief character and adorable goofball. All of the characters, though, took a backseat to the awesome animals. I think I've mentioned them. Along their adventures in the Secret Zoo, the Action Scouts (the name the heroes give themselves collectively) meet and befriend polar bears, rhinos, prairie dogs, and more. They also encounter scary (age appropriate) sasquatches! What's not to like?
All animal fans and everyone who has ever wondered where all the locked doors and mysterious nooks and crannies in a zoo lead should read this fun book.