During the war in Iraq, Abu Laith, a car mechanic, persevered to save as many animals living in the Mosul Zoo as possible even after the area was taken over by Isis. His favorite animal, however, is a lion cub named Zombie (after Simba in The Lion King but butchered by incorrect subtitles).
I found this story heartbreaking, heartwarming, and I was amazed by Abu's determination to save the animals while also caring for two wives and ten children. Luckily, he did have some help, including Hakam, a young man who helped bring attention to the plight of the zoo animals and Dr. Amir, a vet with an international rescue organization for zoo animals.
I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.