Next book



Overflowing with information, fascinating tales and thought-provoking information; give it to animal-loving middle graders...

With an eye toward documenting remarkable animal/human interactions, Campbell has assembled a large collection of fascinating anecdotes.

Following a somewhat scholarly foreword by animal researcher Marc Bekoff and a long introduction, the tales are divided into four sections: “Domestic Companions,” mostly chronicling lifesaving actions by pets; “Trained to Serve, Inspired to Heal,” about search dogs and various other kinds of animals trained to perform particular functions; “Wild  Saviors,” profiling unusual interactions between wild animals and humans; and “Legends and Folktales,” some describing the traditional folk basis for animal stories as well as others that “mix real life with exaggeration.” Each story is a page or two long, accompanied by an attractive black-and-white illustration by Beyer. Each animal is introduced with a text box that provides brief information about the nature of the event, including—an odd and silly touch—a “Fame Meter” that rates the animal from “Local Hero” (like Dory, a rabbit that saved its owner from a diabetic coma) up to “International Celebrity” (like Mkombozi, a dog that rescued a baby abandoned near Nairobi). One of the book’s strengths is the way events are evaluated in comparison to typical behavior or within the context of the emerging field of the study of animal minds.

Overflowing with information, fascinating tales and thought-provoking information; give it to animal-loving middle graders on up. (sources, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936976-62-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

Next book


From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

Next book



Weintraub’s research on the prisoners’ experiences in the camps is remarkable as he narrates Judy and Frank’s heroic tale.

An unusual and moving story of a singular hero among fellow POWs of the Japanese during World War II: a loyal British pointer named Judy.

With bite and substance, Slate columnist Weintraub (The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball's Golden Age, 2013, etc.) chronicles Judy’s incredible life. Two British soldiers initially adopted her as a mascot for the HMS Gnat, which patrolled the Yangtze River, and she went on to a highly dangerous and decorated career with her captured crew. As a puppy at the Shanghai Dog Kennels, Judy (adapted from her Chinese given name, Shudi, meaning “peaceful”) got kicked around by the invading Japanese sailors, so she learned early on aboard the Gnat who her friends were. The men adored her, and although she was not properly trained as a “gun dog,” pointing at game, she became invaluable for her early warnings of danger. In telling Judy’s adventures, as she was moved from Singapore to a stint in several miserable Japanese POW camps in the Dutch East Indies, Weintraub delineates the plight of the British sailors who took care of her and kept her safe. With the fall of Singapore in early 1942, a massive evacuation was undertaken in Keppel Harbor, from which many refugee boats took off but few survived the strafing by Japanese planes. Miraculously, Judy survived, but she was captured by the Japanese. In captivity, she met the man who would become her lifetime master, Londoner Frank Williams, formerly of the Merchant Navy, who was too tall to fly but worked in mechanics and radar. By mutual trust and aid, dog and man survived several brutal Japanese camps together, braving hunger, sadistic guards, snakes, and tigers.

Weintraub’s research on the prisoners’ experiences in the camps is remarkable as he narrates Judy and Frank’s heroic tale.

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-33706-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

Close Quickview