Don't Feed the Boy
by Irene Latham; illus. by Stephanie Graegin
288 pages, ages 8 and up
Roaring Brook Press 2012
No one knows more about the Meadowbrook Zoo than Whit. That’s because his mother’s the zoo director, his father is the head elephant keeper and, for the past eleven years, Whit has eaten, slept and completed all his homeschooling lessons at the zoo. Until today, begins Irene Latham, “… he’d never disobeyed the three basic rules his parents had set for him.”
Because now, Whit has discovered the Bird Girl. She comes every day with her sketchbook and draws the toucans, ostriches – even pigeons pecking crumbs beneath the picnic tables. Who is this Bird Girl? And why does she come by herself to the zoo?
Whit takes Stella, the Bird Girl on a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo. She shows him how to sneak across the highway to where she lives. And suddenly, what seems like a simple friendship turns complex when Stella asks Whit to help her run away from her abusive father.
here. Review copy from Blue Slip Media