Saturday, October 27, 2012

ENDANGERED by Eliot Schrefer

Author Eliot Schrefer uses his own experiences with the bonobo apes as a backdrop for ENDANGERED.  Fans of animal stories and survival tales will want to find a copy of this one.

Sophie was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Now a teen, Sophie's parents have separated so she lives in the United States during the school year and spends her summers in the Congo.  Her mother runs a bonobo preserve in the Congolese jungle.  She has devoted her life to protecting this member of the gorilla family.

Sophie's summer starts with a wild adventure on her way to the preserve.  She knows her mother disapproves of the gorilla poachers and those who capture the endangered apes to butcher or sell, but when she sees the young bonobo in the cage strapped to the back of a poacher's bicycle, she reaches for her money.  Once she makes the deal, she takes possession of the little ape and continues the journey to join her mother at the preserve.

Not happy with her daughter's decision to "rescue" the bonobo, Sophie's mother doesn't have much time to explain her reasons because she of off to release some of the bonobos back into the wild.  Sophie knows when her mother returns there will be further discussion about the incident.  Sophie attempts to stay busy and take care of the bonobo she has named Otto as she awaits her mother's return.

Shortly after her mother's departure Sophie's life turns upside down.  Revolutionaries from the city attack the preserve, killing everyone and destroying the place.  Sophie and Otto manage to escape into a protected enclosure in the compound.  Her survival now depends on her ability to observe the bonobos and learn how to care for herself and Otto.  Will the electric fence surrounding the enclosure be enough to protect Sophie and the bonobos or will she be forced to confront her attackers?

Eliot Schrefer takes readers into an entirely new world.  He describes the violence of the revolution and Sophie's fear as she races to escape and find ways to survive until her parents can come to her rescue.  ENDANGERED is a unique new survival story worth checking out.

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