6 Feb

endangeredEndangered by Eliot Schrefer is the story of Sophie a half Congolese, half American girl who is visiting her mother on a bonobo (a type of ape) sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo when she becomes the surrogate mother for an infant bonobo, named Otto.  When an armed revolution breaks out across the country, Sophie must begin to make the most difficult choices in her life… how will she survive in this suspenseful story of sacrifice, love, and survival.

I think what was most interesting to me in this story was not only the bonobo’s behavior, but also the story surrounding the bonobos – the ongoing conflict that the Democratic Republic of Congo has been dealing with for so many years.  The lifestyle that people have in certain parts of the book varies greatly from what I am accustomed to and it is truly eye-opening to read about this country.

Sophie’s voice was very clear throughout the story and at times I wondered about the choices she made as a teenager, but then I realize that like most teenagers she probably would not think through the decision before making it – thus creating her view of running head long into a decision such as choosing to stay at the sanctuary rather than being airlifted out of the country.  I think the constant struggle between human and animal suffering was very thought-provoking to me as well – of course you want people to be taken care of, but what happens to the animals you love and care about as well?  The story was very intense and suspenseful at times and I couldn’t put the book down!  Definitely give this one a try for a story about another way of life.

Eliot Schrefer has actually been to a bonobo reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo and you can learn more about the author by visiting his website!

Title: Endangered
Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 2012
Page Number: 250 pgs.


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