Synopses & Reviews
*A 2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST*
When he was a boy, Luc's mother would warn him about the "mock men" living in the trees by their home -- chimpanzees whose cries would fill the night.
Luc is older now, his mother gone. He lives in a house of mistreated orphans, barely getting by. Then a man calling himself Prof comes to town with a mysterious mission. When Luc tries to rob him, the man isn't mad. Instead, he offers Luc a job.
Together, Luc and Prof head into the rough, dangerous jungle in order to study the elusive chimpanzees. There, Luc finally finds a new family -- and must act when that family comes under attack.
As he did in his acclaimed novel ENDANGERED, a finalist for the National Book Award, Eliot Schrefer takes us somewhere fiction rarely goes, introducing us to characters we rarely get to meet. The unforgettable result is the story of a boy fleeing his present, a man fleeing his past, and a trio of chimpanzees who are struggling not to flee at all.
"Schrefer switches focus from bonobos to chimpanzees in this engrossing, meticulously researched, and gripping tale of survival in the deep wilds of Gabon, a thematic follow-up to 2012's Endangered. Luc, a 13-year-old orphan and debt slave, is hired by Prof, who wants to become the first African 'janegoodall,' and the two venture into the jungle to study the chimpanzees that dwell within. When tragedy strikes, Luc is left alone, forced to survive by any means necessary. Forging a tentative truce with a small family of chimpanzees, he ekes out a desperate though increasingly satisfying existence. As man and 'mock man' grow to understand one another, they take on all manner of threats, including human hunters, animal predators, and even another chimpanzee tribe. Schrefer's passion for the material and empathy for the characters shows on every page, and his non-human subjects are every bit as complex and fascinating as narrator Luc. The setting comes fully to life, and Schrefer pulls no punches as he showcases the beauty and danger of both urban Gabon and the jungle. Ages 12 up. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Eliot Schrefer is the author of ENDANGERED, THE DEADLY SISTER, THE SCHOOL FOR DANGEROUS GIRLS, GLAMOROUS DISASTERS, and THE NEW KID. He lives in New York City when he is not visiting bonobos in Congo. Visit him online at www.eliotschrefer.com.