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A LIFE IN THE WILD by Pamela S. Turner Kirkus Star


George Schaller’s Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts

by Pamela S. Turner

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-374-34578-5
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

In this gracefully written biography of naturalist and conservationist George Schaller, Turner focuses on six particular studies selected from more than 50 years of travel and research aimed at protecting not just signature species but whole ecosystems in remote parts of the world. Organizing her material both topically and chronologically, she covers his education and early research on the Alaskan North Slope, and work with gorillas, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pandas, asses and antelopes in Asia and Africa. Each chapter is headed with a map and extensively illustrated with intriguing photographs from Schaller’s own image collection. Pictures range from a full-page photo of a male gorilla protecting his family to a snapshot of a lion cub playing with a Schaller child. Sketches and pages from the scientist’s field notes also decorate the pages, giving readers an intimate sense of how this scientist works. This introduction to an environmental hero, the first for young readers, is timely and inspiring, and the endmatter appropriately includes suggestions for reader involvement in conservation activities. (Internet and multimedia resources, endnotes, bibliography identifying works for a general audience; index) (Biography. 10 & up)