Latham, Irene and Illustrated by Graegin, Stephanie Don’t Feed the Boy 288 pgs. Roaring Brook Press, 2012. $11.42. (Rating: Violence PG, Language G, Sexual G)
Whit lives at the Zoo with his parents, who run the place, and he hates it. He feels trapped, lonely, and wishes he could just go to public school like normal kids. He finally finds friendship one summer with an artistic girl named Stella who comes from a troubled home. When Stella is in trouble, Whit breaks all the rules to help her out.
Students who are drawn to this book because of the idea of living at a zoo will be sorely disappointed; Whit hates it, doesn't appreciate it, and doesn't really care all that much about the animals. Parents won’t much like Whit’s risk taking –which leads to another thing the animal-loving students won’t like –animal deaths. It really irks me to read book where kids blame their parents for everything, which in this case is Whit’s total lack of personality.
EL –NOT RECOMMENDED Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.