I read this when I was probably ten years old. The book itself is o.k. but the story is really depressing and I guess that's why I can't rate it any higher than 2 (probably 2.5) stars. If you don't like books with realistic animal characters who can act very violent at times then this book isn't for you. This book isn't really a children's book either since the animals are realistic and they act by pure instinct (violence) and maybe if I would have read it when I was older I might have liked it a bit more (it felt like an attack on Disney-like animal characters who are just like people).