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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya

The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya

Jane Kelley

Square Fish


An orphaned African grey parrot who can speak 127 words. A girl so sick she has forgotten what it means to try. Fate––and a banana nut muffin––bring them together. Will their shared encounter help them journey through storms inside and out? Will they lose their way, or will they find what really matters?

Here is a story that will remind readers how navigating so many of life's desperate adventures requires friendship and, above all, hope.

CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI)


An alarm buzzed. A phone rang. Theme music from a news program played. A clock chimed ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen times. The alarm buzzed again louder and louder. And louder. No one turned it off. No one got up and put food...

Praise for The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya

“The story is alternately told in Zeno's and Alya's voices, and both characters are compelling, believable, and likable. Sprinkled with humor, particularly with Zeno's gaps in vocabulary, the plot is fast paced and will appeal to a wide range of readers as they root for a satisfying ending for both the bird and the young girl.” —School Library Journal

“For animal lovers looking for something unique, this story of true friends missing each other will fit the bill.” —Booklist

“An uplifting story of courage, resilience, and cross-species friendship.” —Publishers Weekly


Reviews from Goodreads

Jane Kelley

Jane Kelley is the author of the middle-grade novels Nature Girl and The Girl Behind the Glass. The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya is her first novel for Feiwel and Friends. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.

Square Fish

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