Zoobreak by Gordon Korman is the second book in the Swindle Series, so I would recommend you read the first book (Swindle) first. It is not completely necessary, yet it will build the characters and show some backstory. The characters and plot are easy to follow.
The first book was about a boy and his friend who found a baseball card in an abandoned house, and they tried to sell it to a pawn shop. The man working there bought it from them for pretty cheap, and they later visited to check on it and they found that it was marked for quite a bit of money. They assembled a crew to pull the heist of their lives to get it back.
The characters in this book are relatable, being middle school kids. They are also likeable, even though they are misfits and outcasts. Zoobreak is a classic heist, like the first book. An animal lover named Savannah loses her monkey and Griffin, “The Man With The Plan,” as his friends call him, concocts a scheme to get her monkey back.
The content of the book will be no surprise after seeing the cover, though it isn’t quite a spoiler. Animal lovers will have a love-hate relationship with this book because there is no shortage of cute and lovable animals, yet for most of the story they are locked up in cages. Animal cruelty is one of the main themes of this novel, though it’s not violent or gory.
The antagonist is a greedy man who cares only for money, so a strong message of the book is to do what is morally correct, and to not be overrun by greed. Characters are loyal and some even question their original standings to support a greater cause. It is a classic feud between “good and evil” where the “good guys” and “bad guys” are clear.
Zoobreak by Gordon Korman is a humorous book that isn’t a disappointment like some sequels. Funny quips and are common, and both children’s and animal rights are important. Overall, I give the book 3 and a half stars because of its basic storyline, yet likeable characters and engaging dialogue.