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Review of Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

silvey_untamedUntamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall
by Anita Silvey
Intermediate, Middle School   National Geographic   
96 pp.
6/15   978-1-4263-1518-3   $18.99
Library ed. 978-1-4263-1519-0   $28.90   g

Jane Goodall has spent a lifetime dedicated to understanding and protecting chimpanzees. This accessible account of her life (with a foreword by Goodall herself) emphasizes the qualities that will likely resonate with young readers: her intelligence, sense of adventure, curiosity, and love of animals. Detailed coverage of her early years explores her nontraditional entry to scientific field-work and the attention from the National Geographic Society that made her famous, but without losing focus on her work ethic and innovative scientific methods. The second half of the book focuses on Goodall’s efforts to bring attention to and reform the use of chimpanzees in research laboratories, and the technological advances in primate research that are currently in place. Silvey accompanies her main narrative with informative text boxes and vivid photographs that are integral to understanding the places, people, and animals in Goodall’s life — including the chimpanzees she spent years observing. Along with an index and source notes, copious additional resources are gathered in a “Field Notes” section at the back of the book, including a bibliography of Goodall’s own writings, a timeline, a map of Gombe (in Tanzania where she worked), and a link to Roots and Shoots, the environmental advocacy group for children that Goodall founded.

From the May/June 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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