A Home Away from Home: True Stories of Wild Animal Sanctuaries

Heritage House. Oct. 2020. 128p. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781772032192.
Gr 5-8–Read discusses a variety of animal sanctuaries located throughout the United States and Canada. The text begins with background information about the history of zoos and captive animals in North America and then addresses the need for sanctuaries. Each chapter describes sanctuaries dedicated to a different type of animal, including elephants, apes, big cats, reptiles, and marine mammals. Readers are encouraged to take actionable steps to treat animals humanely and to prevent exotic animals from being taken into captivity. This title offers a good blend of storytelling and information. The author introduces animals by name and shares their stories of rescue from difficult situations. The caretakers who operate each sanctuary are profiled. Detailed descriptions of the enclosures at each sanctuary are provided, as well as explanations of how they compare to the accommodations at zoos and the habitats animals would occupy in the wild. Though the book features excellent information about animal sanctuaries and the important purpose they serve, it neglects to show the strides zoos and aquariums have made in education and conservation. Nevertheless, young readers who love animals will enjoy learning about the role of sanctuaries in their rescue and care.
VERDICT A quality addition to nonfiction collections.

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