Animal Ark #5: Hedgehogs in the Hall

by Ben M. Baglio

Paperback, 1998



Local notes

PB Bag




Scholastic (1998), Paperback, 131 pages


Adhering to her parents' policy of not permiting wild animals to stay in their veterinary hospital, Mandy finds a "halfway house" for her rescued hedgehogs where they can rehabiltate before returning to the wild.

Original publication date


Physical description

131 p.; 7.4 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Heather19
Cute spikey little hedgehogs!! The cover picture is the one and only reason I got this book, they are so cute!!

But I immediately realized that the plot attracted me just as much as the cover. A mother hedgehog gets injured by a car, so of course Mandy and James rescue it, along with the four
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babies that are much too young to be without their mother. It takes a long, nerve-wracking time to get all of the hedgehogs ready to go back into the wild... But then the question becomes, how to release them back into the wild now that they are semi-used to captivity? Mandy's solution, and the results, had me in tears.
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LibraryThing member funstm
I have fond memories of reading Animal Ark as a kid. Along with all the other series I'm revisiting at the moment, I've decided to set out to read all of Animal Ark. I know I read a hell of a lot of them but I know I didn't quite get through the whole lot.

Animal Ark follows Mandy and James two
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crazy obsessed animal lovers for work together to save all the animals in the world. Mandy is the adopted daughter of two vets and many books in the series revolve around her hometown of York and her parent's veterinary clinic - Animal Ark. James is her best friend and fellow helper/trouble maker. The series promotes responsible animal ownership, willingness to work hard for worthwhile goals and encouragement to lend a hand to family, friends and others in the wider community. Animal Ark is pure gold for young readers. Unfortunately they're a bit simple and a lot repetitive for adult readers but let's face it, those of us rereading are likely here for nostalgia than plot. Younger readers will find the series engaging, humorous, a little silly and lots of fun.

In Hedgehogs in the Hall a hedgehog family move into James' backyard but are accidentally disturbed while Mr Hunter is gardening. The mum and babies become separated and the mum gets hit by a car - thankfully it's the new doctor, Dr McKay. Dr McKay and Mandy work together to stabilize the hedgehog before Mandy takes the mum (she names her Rosa) to Animal Ark. I liked Dr McKay - him and Mandy worked well together - one providing the animal care and the other providing the medical. Dr McKay's daughter, Claire tries to help the babies but accidentally endangers them by touching them (a hedgehog mother may reject her babies if she smells human scent on them), thankfully the mother accepts them back. There's an amusing scene where they lose the hedgehog babies and they leave a food dish out to try to attract them back - which attracts every animal but the hedgehogs.

I like the message the Animal Ark books send about wild animals being free to be wild. Mandy, James and Claire are aware they have to release the hedgehogs into their natural habitat, but they worry that with the road so close to their run, they could be hurt. So rather than preventing the animals from being free, they work to come up with solutions to keep their natural habitat free of dangers. They make a sign to advertise that the road is a hedgehog crossing and warn drivers to slow down. They come up with a plan to create a hedgehog sanctuary in Claire's backyard - building hedgehog nests to help transition a hedgehog in care back to the wild. And they get some help from Simon (the Animal Ark vet nurse) and his friend that runs a wildlife radio program to tag and track the success of the project.

I liked the sign idea and I love that Mandy is once again manipulating Ernie Bell into helping her. This one wasn't as interesting as the previous books but it was an enjoyable read. 2 stars for me and 3 for target audience.
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(14 ratings; 3.5)
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