by Richard Mosher
4.5 14


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Zazoo by Richard Mosher

Zazoo is Vietnamese by birth but feels entirely French. She has lived with her adoptive Grand-Pierre in France in an old stone mill between the river and the canal since she was two, sharing poetry, adventures, and the predictable rhythms of the seasons. Then one misty October morning, a young man on a bicycle rides into Zazoo’s small village and asks a question from which many stories begin to unfold. A love story within a love story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618439041
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 06/07/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Richard Mosher lives in St. Paul, Minnestota. He is the author of one previous novel for young people, The Taxi Navigator, published by Putnam. This is his first book for Clarion.

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Zazoo 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zazoo, by Richard Mosher, is about a girl named Zazoo, who lives with her grandfather next to a canal in France. She is grateful for her grandfather, Grand-Pierre, who adopted her when she was two years old. He adopted her in Vietnam after her parents died. Grand-Pierre loves her very much and was glad to have brought her to France to live with him after World War II. On page 125, Grand-Pierre says to Zazoo, ¿As soon as I saw you, I knew why I was back in Vietnam. I was there for you to save me.¿ Grand-Pierre felt guilty for all the killing he had done in the war. He likes the company of Zazoo and she started a brighter life for him after the war. Zazoo has a passion for being on the canal. She swims in the summer and rows her boat on the canal until winter comes and it freezes. After the ice is solid, she ice skates with Grand-Pierre. She spends most of her time in or on the water. Everyone in the village knows her for her desire to be on the canal. On page 171, Old Louie, the doctor she goes to when she is sick, says to her, ¿Our river beauty. They say you swim a great deal, and in the winter you skate?¿ On page 10, Zazoo says, ¿¿the fact that I was called not only Zazoo but Zazoo the Gill Girl.¿ Because of her deft swimming, she is called Gill Girl. Zazoo is also very friendly and curious. She meets Marius, who was visiting from Paris and instantly befriends him as she shares poems with him and talks about herself. Zazoo has few friends, and Marius seems like an interesting new person to her, who she can actually talk to. On page 24, Zazoo thinks to herself, ¿But now there was someone else who might understand: Marius the bird-watching bicyclist.¿ Trust and admiration is formed between them while Marius slowly reveals secrets that were kept since World War II. On page 5, Marius says after meeting Zazoo, ¿Can I trust you Zazoo? I mean to keep a secret?¿ She also becomes very close to Felix Klein, who she sees regularly to get pills for Grand-Pierre. As she starts to become aware of secrets that have been kept between Felix and Grand-Pierre, she asks him many questions. On page 15, Felix says, ¿You¿re young, you want to know things, so you ask.¿ Felix, Marius, and Grand-Pierre reveal secrets to her about World War II, that make her very depressed. The plot of the story begins when Marius meets Zazoo next to a canal in a small village in France. He asks her a strange question i.e., if Felix Klein is married. Although confused by this question, Zazoo befriends him after their short conversation. After Marius mysteriously has to leave, Zazoo ponders Marius. On page 15, Zazoo says, ¿I wondered again why Marius had to know whether Monsieur Klein was married.¿ However, they keep in touch with postcards, which Zazoo looks forward to receiving. Zazoo starts to become curious about World War II when Grand-Pierre tells her of the killings he took part in during the war. He says on page 58, ¿You changed me to something better than I was,¿ meaning that he hated himself after doing what he did during the war. Trouble occurs in the plot when Zazoo goes to Felix Klein to learn about what Grand-Pierre couldn¿t tell her about the war. Zazoo has no idea what horrible things she is going to find out. On page 65, Zazoo says to Felix Klein, ¿Something seems to terrible for him to tell me. Too awful. He said it might be too weak of him, but he couldn¿t answer my questions, I¿d have to ask elsewhere.¿ Felix agrees to tell Zazoo the truth. Felix, an eleven-year-old at the time, and his family were the only Jewish people in the village when World War II broke out. His sister Isabelle, and his parents were all hung and killed by the Germans. Felix wasn¿t the only one to miss Isabelle though. Grand-Pierre used to dance the tango with Isabelle when he was in his late twenties. Now Grand Pierre is seventy-eight years old. Grand-Pierre saved Felix and took him to the Cévennes Mountains to hide, so the Germans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nononewday More than 1 year ago
I read this book a while back, after finding it while browsing through my town's limited library selection. Extremely well written, and delves into past historical events without feeling like atedious social studies lesson. Instead Mr. Mosher, delves into deep emotional ties from past tragedies that intertwine with the young life of a young Vietnamese girl raised living with her "Grand-Pierre" in France. The story really starts to take off when Zazoo meets the mysterious boy on the bike, named Marius. As Zazoo realizes her feelings for Marius, she also discovers the secrets of past loves, and of her ownfirst love appearing before her very eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like historical fiction. I picked this book up by accident at the library and I really enjoyed it! I flew through the pages! There are many twists and turns. I would recommend it. Anyone who likes to travel to a different land and really get connected to the main character would like this book very much!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the writer spent more time with his nose in history books than thinking of a good plot and ending. The begining is good, but then it falls down hill. it leads nowhere. Sent me to sleep!!! Don't Waist Your Time!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was one of the best I've ever read, and I've read a lot of books. It was a classic story of an adolescent girl who is trying to define her identity, as she is Vietnamese, but feels 'French inside.' There is also a bit of romance between Zazoo and Marius, and the outcome was, overall, totally satisfying. DEFINITELY BUY!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zazoo is the story of a 13 year old girl named Zazoo who lives with her old adoptive grandfather in France. Thoughout the book Zazoo learns about the history of her grandfather and their village. Past romances and World War Two all play a large part in the book as Zazoo learns about life and love. The review below this pretty much tells you the ending and sounds like a book report so don't read it if you actually plan on reading Zazoo.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very good, even if it dragged in places. Zazoo is a girl everybody could relate too. She is very kind, thoughtful, and considerate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books I have read so far and trust me I have read many books. I liked this book because my personal interests include the Holocaust. The author used very graceful poetic words that are supposed to express something tragic, yet somehow comes out peaceful and promising. The characters used are also very easy to connect with. For example, Zazoo has to go through dealing with her problems for Grandpierre and keeping everything in order.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic book. I loved this book because it combines the past and the present effectively. I can also connect to Zazoo because I know someone with Alzhiemers who is slowly but surely losing her memory, like Zazoo's grandpierre. I also liked how she is so poetic and dreamy but still has a firm grip on reality. It was cool how everyone is intertwined with each other- Marius & Zazoo, Grandpierre & Isabel, Monsieur Klien & Meme Simone. I am fasinated by France so this book helped me develop a deeper understanding of French culture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is so interesting. It tells of youg Zazoo who lives with her adoptive grandfather, Grand-Pierre. They live in France. It is a little sad. I enjoyed the book because it was written by a great writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
zazoo is a beautifully written book! it was very touching and romantic. it even brought tears to my eyes in the end. this book is just terrific and i highly recommend this as a summer novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If ever a story merited reading aloud it is 'Zazoo,' the poignant story of a young Vietnamese/French girl and her journey to self-understanding. Joanna Wyatt gives a touching performance as the voice of the narrator, 13-year-old Zazoo. Born in Vietnam, Zazoo has lived most of her life in France, actually in Burgundy with her adoptive grandfather, Grand-Pierre. Her life is peaceful and serene; she has not questioned her past or Grand-Pierre's life before she came to live with him. The tenor of her days changes when Marius, a 16-year-old French boy, bicycles into her small village. His queries lead Zazoo to think and to ask about the time when France was under the boot of the Nazis. As multiple secrets are revealed we learn of a unique link between Marius and the village pharmacist. We also learn of Grand-Pierre's past, some of which he would not wish to be revealed. 'Zazoo,' as it explores the years of war, is a rather painful story yet it is one buoyed by love, hope, and forgiveness.