Saving the Baghdad Zoo (Greenwillow, 2010), by Kelly Milner Halls and Major William Summer, is the latest in a string of great kids’ nonfiction books I’ve been reading. This book is set in a war zone, but it’s about hope, humanity, and compassion. But not in a sappy way.
The photos are amazing, the writing is engaging, and I can hardly imagine a kid who wouldn’t love it. By focusing each chapter on a different animal, the book shows various problems encountered by the people working to save the zoo. It allows the reader to really feel connected to the story, and to learn about what Iraq was like at that time.
The reviews all say around grades 4-8, but I think many younger kids, especially those who are already aware of war or have military family members, would love it as well (with a great adult to read it to them and answer questions that arise).