The Midnight Zoo is a 2010 novella by Sonya Hartnett. It was first published on 1 November 2010 in Australia and was then released in the United States a year later. It follows the story of two gypsy boys that find an abandoned zoo after leaving their destroyed village. The novella has gained critical praise for its "lyrical" prose and for the illustrations in the United States version, done by artist Andrea Offermann.
Taking place in World War II, two Roma boys named Andrej and Tomas have escaped their community after it has been destroyed by the Nazis. They come across an abandoned zoo filled with anthropomorphic animals. Over one night, each of the animals tells how they ended up at the zoo. The animals all want to escape but are scared of what lies beyond the zoo.
The Midnight Zoo received positive reviews from critics, mostly for the "lyrical" prose and the illustrations from Andrea Offermann in the American version. Kirkus Reviews called it "[a]n evocative story" with "lyrical, spare prose".Booklist was similarly favorable, but it said that the ending "may confuse some readers". A reviewer for the Daily Mail called it a "powerful and sensitively handled fable about war, freedom, and loss", and praised the author's writing and use of anthropomorphism.Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said that Harnett "mak[es] a profound case for the futility of war while exploring questions about responsibility and freedom."Library Journal also gave it a starred review, saying that it was also good for adults who were "interested in wartime fiction and thought-provoking, fable-like tales", while its juvenile companion School Library Journal called it a "beautiful and sad book [that] will stay with readers long after the story is done."