Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie(From Goodreads)

The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor.A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive.Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship and forgiveness can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

Red Dog – Louis de Bernières

Red Dog(From Goodreads)

In 1998, Louis de Bernieres—acclaimed author of Corelli’s Mandolin—came upon a bronze statue in a town on Australia’s northwestern coast and was immediately compelled to know more about “Red Dog.” He did not have to go far: everyone for hundreds of miles in every direction seemed to have a story about Red Dog. He was a Red Cloud Kelpie, a breed of sheepdog known for its energy and cleverness. But Red Dog was a kind of ultra-Kelpie, energetic and clever enough for an entire breed in himself.

Red Dog official trailer:

Half Brother – Kenneth Oppel

half brother(From Kenneth Oppel’s website)

Ben Tomlin was an only child for thirteen years. Then his parents brought home a baby chimp.

It isn’t long before Ben is Zan’s favourite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. His father disagrees. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true — between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.

Half Brother trailer:

Kenneth Oppel’s website.

Kenneth Oppel’s blog.

The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

IvanIvan is an easy going gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he is used to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and drawing. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Inspired by a true story, this Newbery Medal winner is a moving and unforgettable story of friendship, hope and a mighty gorilla.

School Library Journal

Watch the book trailer

An Elephant in the Garden – Michael Morpurgo

Elephant in the gardenActually set in Germany during World War Two, this novel opens with an aged woman, Lizzie, telling her life story to a young boy in her Canadian nursing home. Life had been generally good for Lizzie and her younger brother, Karl, until their father is sent away to fight on the Russian front and the war starts to get more real. Lizzie’s mother gets work as a zoo keeper to support the family but as an Allied bombing of Dresden seems imminent, all the dangerous animals have to be shot. She can’t bear, though, to see Marlene, an orphaned elephant, shot and so rescues her and brings her home to keep in their back garden! Lizzie and Karl fall in love with Marlene too and when the family has to flee the bombing, they naturally take Marlene with them. On their journey, they meet a Canadian navigator who risks his own life to save theirs.


Life of Pi – Yann Martel

life-of-pi-book-coverPiscine Molitor Patel – known as Pi – grows up in Pondicherry, India; both spiritual and philosophical in his approach, he has a deep love of reading and of the animals which surround him in his parents’ zoo. But when he is sixteen, his parents decide they need to escape the political turmoil in India, and so they head for Canada. Boarding the cargo ship, Tsimtsum, they take along some of their animals to a new life in Northern America. But they have barely left when the ship sinks and only Pi survives, alone in a lifeboat – with only some animals for company, including a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. This begins his 227 day trip across the Pacific, where he tries to come to terms with the nature of belief and also the importance of asserting one’s own will.

Pot of thoughts

Into the Wild (Warriors #1) – E. Hunter

WarriorsAfter four generations, the ThunderClan Cats are in grave danger. With a traitor hidden in their midst, the warrior code laid down by their ancestors is being threatened. The last thing Rusty, a young house cat, expects is to be invited to join this group of feral cats, but he does – and is renamed ‘Firepaw’. Rusty has to learn the ways of the wild, hunting and fighting, and how to survive a turf war. Sometimes violent, but always action-packed, if you love animal adventures you are sure to enjoy this series!