The terrifying title should attract readers with strong stomachs.
Pedru, son of the best local hunter, lives in a village in East Africa. His senses are attuned to the local animals, but one night, while checking his snares at dusk, a lion attacks him. Pedru courageously fights, but he loses his right arm. His life is entirely changed by this event, as the boy meets scientists who are studying lions. He and his father become involved in this project, and his father is later hired when a tourist lodge that allows the lions to be seen but not hunted is built nearby. Pedru goes to college and becomes a scientist himself. The pen-and-wash illustrations provide details on the people, animals and village life in this part of Africa. An afterword gives information about lion-conservation projects and how they protect people while allowing the large cats to live. The author points out that the public should support such projects, but the tourist industry must also provide funds for local people to get the safety fencing, lights and correctly constructed houses. Although the building of the tourist lodge (by an important soccer player related to one of the conservation-project staff members) seems a little far-fetched, this brief tale bridges the gap between the few picture books and longer novels set in this region.
Though on the purposive side, the tale both provides adventure and fills a cultural niche for chapter-book readers (Fiction. 8-10)