Tween Tuesday is a meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!
Release Date: 10/16/2012
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About the Book: Whit lives at the zoo. With a mom that's the zoo director and a dad who is the head elephant keeper, it's all Whit has ever known. He feels like his parents don't pay attention to him and care more about the animals. Whit wants to experience a different life. So when he's assigned a field study project, he decides to study Bird Girl, a mysterious girl he's seen at the zoo every day. Whit meets Stella, a girl who loves to draw birds, but her life outside the zoo is something she's trying to escape.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Don't Feed the Boy would be a great book for a middle grade book club. Whit is envious of Stella living outside the zoo, but Stella's abusive father makes her life something she wants to run away from. Stella on the other hand is jealous of Whit living in the zoo, but Whit longs for parents who notice him. I think there is so much from each character that tweens can take away.
Whit and Stella are well developed characters and the author sneaks in a lot of facts about zoos and animals into the story-Whit is quite an animal expert! The author does a great job of tying little details together. She brings things into the story that seem small (like the lighter Stella gives to Whit) and ties it back to details that happen later on.
I wouldn't be surprised if this book makes it onto our state book award list as I think it lends a lot to middle grade book discussions. It's sad but happy at the same time, which I think tweens will like. But be warned-there are animals in this book and there are some sad moments with them!! (You can't say I didn't tell you so!)
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by Blue Slip Media for review