Zebra Forest

Featured
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
1857 0
Zebra Forest
Age Range
9+
Release Date
April 09, 2013
ISBN
978-0763660413
Buy This Book
      

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. "If you’re going to do something, make sure you do it with excellence," Gran would say. That was when Gran was feeling talkative, and not brooding for days in her room — like she did after telling Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, too, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest — stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. 

But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same. 

Driven by suspense and psychological intrigue, "Zebra Forest" deftly portrays an unfolding standoff of truth against family secrets — and offers an affecting look at two resourceful, imaginative kids as they react and adapt to the hand they’ve been dealt.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Takes Your Attention Hostage
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Who knew that a hostage situation could be described as endearing and sweet? I sure didn’t, until I read Adina Rishe Gewirtz’s “Zebra Forest.”

“Zebra Forest” follows eleven-year-old Annie and her younger brother, Rew, as they make it through a scorchingly hot summer in a sleepy town. Their summer vacation becomes anything but sleepy as nearly fifty felons in a nearby prison escape, and one of them decides to hideout in Annie and Rew’s home. A hostage situation ensues that lasts for over a month and is filled with anxiety, screaming fights, and family drama.

Gewirtz has found that sweet spot that blends tension-filled action and a strong literary voice. Gewirtz’s protagonist Annie may not be the most book smart girl in the world, but she seems to be wise beyond her years. Rather than let herself panic after being held hostage, she takes the forced seclusion as a chance to learn more about her family and why her parents left her and Rew to be raised by their grandmother. You get invested in Annie’s moments of thought, wanting to find out more about her past just as badly as she does. Becoming pensively engaged with Annie makes the action-filled moments that much more surprising and unexpected, getting your heart racing as Rew especially tries to make trouble for their criminal houseguest.

What’s great about said criminal houseguest, Andrew Snow, is he’s not such a bad guy. Sure, he’s taken Annie, Rew, and their grandmother hostage, but he also cooks for the family, tells them stories, and cleans up the house that has been overrun by Annie’s grandma’s hoarder ways. I found myself getting Stockholm syndrome and hoping that Andrew Snow would somehow be excused from his crimes and live happily ever after with Annie and her family. This psychological back and forth of knowing Snow has done bad things in the past, but finding myself relating to him at certain moments, speaks to Gewirtz’s ability to make complex and fascinating characters.

Gewirtz also knows how to edit herself. Rather than painstakingly take us through each day Annie and her family are held in captivity, she only shows us the juicy moments. This eliminates monotonous days that all resemble one another, and makes each moment in Annie’s story stand out for its uniqueness and development of the overall story. This also helps the reader cruise through the book, as the action is so perfectly placed that you can’t wait to find out how this whole situation pans out.

In the end, Annie learns some important lessons about herself and her family that lead to the endearing and sweet moments of this hostage situation. Gewirtz’s captivating storytelling took my attention hostage (yep, I said it), and I can’t wait for her next book.
Good Points
An eleven-year-old's perspective of what it's like to be taken hostage.
A great blend of tension-filled action and a literary voice.
Pacing that keeps you invested in the story until the very end.
Report this review Comments (2) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Mall
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Members of the secret mermaid community have learned to trust...

Latest Member Reviews

Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
"SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is a book about family, forgiveness, grief, and following your passion. Isabella dreams of being a world-class..."
 
4.0
"break your glass slippers is the first book in the poetry series, “you are your own fairy tale,” by award-winning..."
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
"THE UPSIDE OF FALLING is a YA contemporary romance by Wattpad author Alex Light. The story follows Becca Hart, an..."
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
"THE WINTER DUKE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes place in a world where magic is controlled by a..."
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"After our mindbending landing on the moon back in 1969, we’ve faltered in our quest to explore space. Mars seems..."
The Twin
 
3.7
"Ivy and her twin sister Iris parents divorced when they were ten. Ivy got to live with their father and..."
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."
The Stars We Steal
 
3.7
"Jane Austen in space….yes please! The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne is a futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion...."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
" The story: After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally..."
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Kira Fujikawa loves helping at her family shrine. She also has a paranormal ability. She sees the not only..."
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
"THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US is the highly devourable YA fantasy I have been searching for! This is an enthralling story..."
 
3.3
"The Betrothed is a brand new YA-novel set in the 15th century by Kiera Cass, whom we all know from..."
Remember Me
 
4.0
"‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’ Nell is..."
Lobizona
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Manuela, 'Manu' is in hiding from her father's Argentinian crime family. She also runs the risk of being deported..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."
The Opposite of Always
 
5.0
"Opposite of Always is a heartfelt and stunning debut; that is worthy of all praise. I am in love..."