Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

Publish date: 2012
Source: Classroom library
Format: Hardcover
Length: 272 pages
"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.
" (Goodreads)

Endangered is a great example of a book that seems totally not for me. The setting, the storyline, the cover, all of it just screams a great book for someone, but that someone isn't me. Obviously, though, I did read it. I kept seeing it on my shelf at school and saw that a few Goodreads friends had given it good reviews, so I brought it home and read it over a few days last December. To my surprise, I liked it!

Even though I didn't absolutely love Endangered, I did like it, and can think of students I would recommend it to. It's a great example of a survival story: Sophie has to survive in a jungle by herself with a group of bonobos and no other humans for the most part. I wouldn't have made it, that's for sure, but I still like reading survival stories (apparently they teach me I wouldn't make it). It was interesting to learn about bonobos and animal sanctuaries, two things I know very little about.

Just like my Under the Never Sky lesson last week (right book, right time), this book gave me a another mini-lesson for my students (and me): leaving your reading comfort zone can be scary and uncomfortable, but is often really rewarding. I'm definitely glad I read Endangered and expanded my world a bit. I'm looking forward to exploring Schrefer's other work!

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