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Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
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Endangered (edition 2012)

by Eliot Schrefer

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1931958,696 (4.17)7
Member:ken1952
Title:Endangered
Authors:Eliot Schrefer
Info:Scholastic Press (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

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Sophia is visiting her mother in the Congo at her Bonobo rescue facility when war breaks out. Refusing to leave her adopted baby Bonobo, Otto, behind, Sophia refuses to evacuate when the U.N. comes from her and hides with the bonobos in an enclosure with an electrified fence. When the electricity goes out, she takes Otto and heads off into the jungle of a country at war to find her mother at the release facility. ( )
  pmlyayakkers | Dec 19, 2013 |
This one drew me in, and at times I had to put it down because I was too emotionally entangled. I'm one of those people who can't stand the thought of an animal getting hurt, so Otto, the bonobo, being in constant danger just kept me chewing my nails. Definitely worth a read. ( )
  stacy_chambers | Aug 22, 2013 |
Fascinating. I can't wait to share this book with the young readers in my life. I learned about apes I had never heard of. Descriptions of the interactions were detailed and made me smile. I eas also reminded of the unrest in Congo. Great story of love and strength. ( )
  RhoBSD | May 2, 2013 |
WATCH BOOK TRAILER (video of author Eliot Schrefer speaking about the book)

This is the story of a girl and an ape in one of the worst wars the modern world has known. Sophie's journey to escape the violence in the Congo while protecting her bonobo charge is certainly exciting, but more than that, it charts her evolution from an inexperienced and naive girl to a responsible and courageous young woman.
  KilmerMSLibrary | Apr 30, 2013 |

Image from barnesandnoble.com

"The compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos--and herself--from a violent coup.

The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.

When one girl has to follow her mother to her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.

Eliot Schrefer asks readers what safety means, how one sacrifices to help others, and what it means to be human in this new compelling adventure." (Summary from Goodreads)

Endangered is a book that feels Important. It contains a lot of information about life in the Congo, about bonobos, about what it's like to live through the horror of a civil war. It gives us a sense of the complicated morals involved in this situation as well. In the opening, Sophie, our narrator, saves a bonobo from misery and probably death by buying him and bringing him to her mother's sanctuary. A good thing to do, right? But it also means that the man who sold him believes that there is a market for bonobos. There are no simple answers.

At the same time, important books often translate to books without a lot of plot, and that's definitely what I felt here. It's in an awkward place partway between fiction and non-fiction, and Sophie often comes across as a vehicle for moving the book forward rather than a real character. I mean, I don't think it's an accident that there's a bonobo on the front cover, rather than Sophie. It's not an accident that she's not named in the summary above.

Is this a problem? Maybe not. The people who pick this up will read it because they're interested in the subject, rather than because they want a character-driven book. For me personally, because I am such a character-driven reader, this facet made me feel disconnected from the book. I didn't have any emotional stakes in the story, aside from the sort of vague sense that I ought to because it was a worthy cause.

On another level, I have a hard time with anthropomorphized animals outside of an out-and-out fantasy book. I felt like Schrefer was walking a very fine line between trying to point out how close bonobos are to humans, and not making them into humans. In general I was okay, but there were a couple points where I felt like it kind crossed over. This is partly a personal reading issue, but I do feel like it points again to what I mentioned above--that the bonobos are at the center of the book.

I'm glad that this book exists and I think that for the right reader it could be very powerful (Maggie Stiefvater, for instance, really liked it). For myself, I was interested in learning more about bonobos from a non-fiction source, but as a reader this was a book I personally was not highly invested in.

Book information: Scholastic, 2012; YA/upper mg
Book source: ARC from publisher received for Cybils ( )
  maureene87 | Apr 4, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545165768, Hardcover)

The compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos--and herself--from a violent coup.

The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.

When one girl has to follow her mother to her sancuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.

Eliot Schrefer asks readers what safety means, how one sacrifices to help others, and what it means to be human in this new compelling adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:37 -0400)

Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo she becomes more involved in her mother's sanctuary--and when fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes and somehow survive in the jungle.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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