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Publisher's Summary

When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw - and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital.
Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.
©2007 Diane Ackerman (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America
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Critic Reviews

"Ackerman's writing is viscerally evocative, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area....This suspenseful beautifully crafted story deserves a wide readership." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Ackerman's affecting telling of the heroic Zabinskis' dramatic story illuminates the profound connection between humankind and nature, and celebrates life's beauty, mystery, and tenacity." ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Amy M Perez on 02-26-17

Boring

I was expecting so much more more from this and I was really disappointed. The story was bland and more like an encyclopedia than a story. I though there would be more with the animals and actually using Jews IN the zoo. The parts that were story like were good, but they were infrequent.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 09-06-08

Wonderful!

Tales of strength, disaster, delight, and integrity in war time Poland are spun through the lives of the family who inhabited the "ark" of the Warsaw zoo. Beautifully read and not to be missed.

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46 of 53 people found this review helpful

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