Zazoo (Hardcover)

By Richard Mosher

Clarion Books, 9780618135349, 256pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2001



Zazoo, almost 14, lives with her adoptive grandfather, who brought her from Vietnam to his village in France when she was just two years old. They have many things in common, including a love of poetry and a tangled history that Zazoo is only now beginning to understand. She has always known that Grand-Pierre was involved in World War II, but not what that meant, and she never imagined that he had fought in Vietnam.
A boy who rides his bicycle into her village one morning asks a question from which many stories begin to unfold. The bicycle boy, Marius, and the middle-aged local pharmacist turn out to have surprising connections with Zazoo and Grand-Pierre. With the help of new and old friends, Zazoo makes the bittersweet discovery that the past isn t over, but that it informs and colors the present and the future. Richly textured and beautifully written, Zazoo is an unusual and engrossing novel.

Praise For Zazoo

A slow and almost dreamlike exploration of the myriad ways that the past—especially a cataclysmic past—informs the present. . . .The slow revelation of the many intertwined personal histories is truly elegant, and the several love stories that emerge are almost painfully romantic. Zazoo's voice is honest and distinct as she tells her story; the secondary characters develop with real three-dimensional complexity as well. This is a story of memory and contemplation, not action, with most of the elements unfolding slowly over the course of a year through dialogue and reminiscence.
Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

From the very first paragraph, Mosher's vivid imagery makes Zazoo's world come to life. . . .This book is her tale, a romance with a little history thrown in, and it is told well.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

Zazoo is a beautiful and lyrical novel, with poetry woven throughout. It is a story of love, devotion, and unwavering commitment that bridges generations and cultures.
School Library Journal, Starred

A lyrical book about memory and living with loss.
SLJ Best Books of the Year

Readers will be swept away by the evocative images and emotive scenes in this story, offering a mix of bitter and sweeet.
Publishers Weekly, Starred

[T]his finely crafted novel, told in Zazoo's authentic first-person narrative, speaks to more than one message; it also evokes the quiet passage of the seasons and the joys of friendship. A novel with a big message well told through the smallest details.
Booklist, ALA