Apr 30, 2013

Review: Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz
April 9th, 2013 from Candlewick

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.

Pretty powerful story in a short book! The opening chapter was absolutely captivating. We are immediately thrown into Annie and Rew's not so normal living situation. Mom ran out years ago, dad is dead, and their Gran isn't exactly all there every day. It becomes increasing clear that Annie is the main caregiver and provider. At eleven-years old, that's tough. When a man breaks out of prison and invades their home, Annie slowly realizes that she may have been living in a prison all this time as well.

Full of revelations, confessions, and apologies, Zebra Forest is a book I won't forget anytime soon. Really enjoyed!

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You can find Gewirtz at her website