Half Brother

7 Dec

Ben Tomlin was an only child for thirteen years, until the day his mother brought home Zan – an eight-day old chimpanzee.  Ben’s parents plan on raising Zan as a human and to teach him American Sign Language (ASL) in order to see if Zan can acquire advanced language skills.

Ben’s family moves across Canada from Toronto to Victoria during the 1970s in order for his father to complete his research project.  Kenneth Oppel uses amazing storytelling skills to bring this story to life from the science and research to the animal-rights issues, each topic is handled in a way that readers can see both perspectives.  If you weren’t paying close attention the story could be set in today’s time, except for references to Planet of the Apes, the original, not the remake.

In the end, Ben must make a difficult decision  – obey his father, or protect his little brother.  This is well worth the read, for boys and girls alike, especially those interested in animals and science!

Title: Half Brother
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Page Number: 375 pgs.


One Response to “Half Brother”


  1. The One and Only Ivan « literacious - May 15, 2012

    […] This is a wonderful story for older elementary and young middle students who love animals – especially wild animals.  This book could also be paired with Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel, a book about a chimpanzee being raised as a human child.  Check out my review here. […]

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