The Emergency Zoo by Miriam Halahmy

Hi everyone, this final week of February features a tween read with more than one animal as the main lead character. I must confess, I think I prefer stories about zoos, wildlife parks and menageries than single pets. With stories like these you get a broad range of characters, both human and animal. So, if you enjoy historical fiction with some strong characters, both animal and human, have a read of this post.

The emergency zoo two girls with a dog and cat London Blitz in background
An historical read

Title: The emergency zoo

Author: Miriam Halahmy

Genre: Fiction – historical

Publication details: Alma Books; Surrey, 2016

ISBN: 9781846883972

What this book is about: It is late 1939 and Britain is on the brink of war. Many preparations are under way to evacuate London’s children to the countryside. When twelve-year-old Tilly and her best friend Rosy find out they will not be able to take their beloved dog and cat with them – and that, even worse, their pets will, along with countless other animals, be taken to the vet to be put down – they decide to act. The two girls come up with the idea of hiding them in a derelict hut in the woods and, when other children find out and start bringing their rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, their secret den turns into an emergency zoo. Inspired by real events during the Second World War, Miriam Halahmy’s novel is a touching tale of courage, resourcefulness and camaraderie in desperate times, as well as a stirring defense of animal welfare.

My review: When I find books such as this one which is inspired from real events, I’m constantly learning new facts about historical events. Finding out about the Dumb Animal League that existed during that time to save the pets of Britain was enlightening and heartwarming. I had never known about this aspect of the war years. Miriam Halahmy brought a different side of London to life with her story: those of the young children and their pets during the war years. I liked the variety of animals and their young owners. Our two main characters, Tilly and Rosy are portrayed as brave, courageous, and unafraid for standing up for what they believe is right!! A great read for all kinds of animal lovers!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

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