A 2018-2019 Missouri Mark Twain Readers Award preliminary nominee (grades 4-6).
Zoe G. Reindeer loves plants, hanging out with her best friend Quincy, and the family business, Doc Reindeer's Exotic Plant Wonderland. When a man from Madagascar asks about a rare plant that they do not carry, Zoe decides to grow one from a seed, and thus begins a season of transformation for everyone.
This is not a fast-moving book, but more of a character-study, but I really enjoyed it. I liked Zoe and her family and friends. Good for fans of realistic fiction and diverse reads.
Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods takes us into the life of an eleven-year-old Southern California girl. Although she is African-American, her predicament is that of many a (middle-)child: a sense of ordinariness. Her older sister is a social butterfly and her younger brother is a brainiac, and her relationship with them is tenuous. Now, if only she can find her own niche.
The Wonderland in the title refers not only to her dad’s exotic plant store, but also to her penchant for daydreaming about being a different Zoe. Although this tendency gets her into mischief on occasion, it also allows her to see herself as capable. This “wondering” and her chance encounter with a tall, dark astronomer from Madagascar open new horizons to her.
Overall this book is a slice of life with all its vicissitudes: friends leaving, making new friends, family squabbles, money problems, major illness, etc. Change is difficult, but as Zoe’s father tells her “It’ll all work itself out. It just will”.
I liked this book because it was a “feel good” book.
booknrrd thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over
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