By Howard Anderson
Twelve, $24.99, 240 pages

Albert has spent most of his life at the Adelaide Zoo and has always felt that there was more to life than being locked in a cage and stared at. Fascinated by tales of Old Australia – a place where things are the same as they used to be – Albert runs away from the zoo in search of something better. Along the way he has both delightful and terrifying adventures, making friends and enemies and finding that the journey is as important as the destination.

Albert of Adelaide is a delightful allegorical tale by first-time novelist Howard Anderson. Albert is a marvelous character, as he is both uncertain of himself but determined. The other characters that he meets along the way are equally interesting and memorable, regardless of whether they are friends or enemies (or both). The writing is simple yet vivid, and the world the author creates surrounds the reader throughout the novel. This charming tale is impossible to put down and stays with the reader long after the last page is read.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern