Thursday, May 15, 2014

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

Sophie lives in two worlds.  For most of the year she lives in America with her father.  But in the summer she travels to the Congo to visit her mother on her bonobo preserve.As the story begins she is in a cab and sees a man selling a sick, abused bonobo baby on the side of the road.  She knows that her mother has told her to never purchase an animal but her heart goes out to the baby and she buys Otto.  Otto and Sophie bond and he slowly begins to return to health.  Shortly after her mother leaves the preserve to return some adult bonobos to the wild the government falls and the country begins a civil war.  As an American, Sophie has the chance to leave the country before the bands of warlords show up at the preserve but that means leaving Otto behind.  So Sophie and Otto have to find a way to survive as they cross the dangerous country to find her mother.  Endangered has a lot going on - civil war, animal rights, AIDS, roaming warlords - pretty much every African issue is addressed in this book.  The overall story is good but I wonder about the execution of it for most students and if they will be able to stay with it.