Luc, a young orphan in Gabon, drying glasses in a bar for a few coins each day, finds himself working with a researcher from the National Geographic Society studying endangered chimps. Luc finds a sort of family with the chimps - each with their own personality - and with the man known as "the Prof."
The descriptions were incredibly realistic and transported me into the jungle with Luc (and the bugs and spiders and other scary things). I loved feeling that close to a character and his experiences and grew to understand more about the chimpanzee animal through Luc's own learning. He was an inspiring protagonist and one that still has me thinking of his story, days after finishing the book. I was definitely taken out of my comfort zone and into a survival story unlike any other I've read.
I'm totally in love with Schrefer's writing and cannot wait for his next book. I absolutely loved last year's Endangered and was thrilled to see Schrefer continued to write about great apes. I just learned that Threatened is the second in a quartet of books about great apes and orangutans are up next, followed by gorillas. And if you haven't read Endangered, which features a bonobo sanctuary, you most definitely should. It was a well-deserved National Book Award finalist!
I can see teachers using these books as excellent conversation starters in their classrooms. Such a great read!
Thanks to Scholastic for the review copy!