A Peculiar School
J. Schlenker, author
What if all animals got along? Miss Ethel Peacock, who lives at a nature preserve, has the brilliant idea of starting a school for all animals. She musters up her courage to take her idea to Mr. Densworth Lion, principal at Cub Academy, who thinks the idea is preposterous. He roars, “Animals have a pecking order. Getting along isn’t in an animal’s nature.” Ethel is disheartened until her friend, Luce Pigeon, tells her about a tiger, hyena, orangutan and polar bear who live together in the tunnels under the city after escaping from the zoo, and about the badger who helps them. The two set out to meet the animals. What Ethel finds when they arrive is beyond her imagination. Animals with distinct personalities are working together but barely surviving. She and Luce must help them escape their underground prison. The night of the escape is chaotic. The animals scatter amid the blare of police sirens. What happens next motivates Ethel even more to open the school. Her plan gets a big boost when the owls, keepers of the sacred knowledge of the forest, give Ethel their blessing. But, the owls are hiding something about the nature preserve that could change everything.