No kid knows more about zoo life than Whit. That's because he sleeps, eats, and even attends home-school at the Meadowbrook Zoo. It's one of the perks of having a mother who's the zoo director and a father who's the head elephant keeper. Now that he's eleven, Whit feels trapped by the rules and routine of zoo life. With so many exotic animals, it's easy to get overlooked. But when Whit notices a mysterious girl who visits every day to draw the birds, suddenly the zoo becomes much more interesting. Who is the Bird Girl? And why does she come by herself to the zoo?
Determined to gain her trust, Whit takes the Bird Girl on his own personal tour of the zoo. He shows her his favorite animals and what happens with them behind the scenes. For Whit, having a friend his own age that he can talk to is an exciting new experience. For Stella the Bird Girl, the zoo and Whit are a necessary escape from her chaotic home life. Together they take risks in order to determine where it is they each belong. But when Stella asks Whit for an important and potentially dangerous favor, Whit discovers how complicated friendship—and freedom—can be, in Irene Latham's Don't Feed the Boy.
About the Author
Irene Latham is a grateful creator of many novels, poetry collections, and picture books, including the coauthored Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship, which earned a Charlotte Huck Honor, and The Cat Man of Aleppo, which won a Caldecott Honor. Irene lives on a lake in rural Alabama.
Stephanie Graegin received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Pratt Institute. She illustrated Irene Latham's Don't Feed the Boy. Stephanie lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“Don't Feed the Boy is a delightfully satisfying blend of action and emotion, tension and heart. Everyone should have a best friend like Whit.” —Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award–winning author of Mockingbird
“Feed this to animal fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is solid storytelling.” —School Library Journal