Selected to represent Alabama at 2013
National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Named a 2013 Bank Street College
Best Children's Book of the Year
“Don't Feed the Boy
is a delightfully satisfying
blend of action and
emotion, tension and
heart. Everyone should
have a best friend like
–Kathryn Erskine, winnerof the National Book Award for Mockingbird
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.
Brimming with animal facts, adventure and tender truths, this heart-touching tale is
about the human struggle to find one’s place in the world.