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THE ENDANGEREDS by Philippe Cousteau


by Philippe Cousteau & Austin Aslan illustrated by James Madsen

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-06-289416-8
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Join the Endangereds, a team of hyperintelligent mammals, as they protect animals around the world.

When Nukilik, a polar bear, is captured by humans and taken to the Ark, a facility dedicated to protecting the planet’s most endangered species, all she can think about is reuniting with her lost mother. But when her body and mind go “hyper,” Nukilik is faced with a dilemma: Should she pursue her wish to return to her mother or work with the Endangereds, who use technology along with their extreme intellect and physical prowess? Told in the third person, the narrative shifts between Nukilik and other members of the Endangereds, including a wisecracking, tech-hacking narwhal; a scrappy, agile African pangolin; and their leader, a wise orangutan. Exaggerated character traits and a complex plot contribute to the appealing concept of hyperintelligent animals engaging in heistlike rescues. However, frequent, lengthy, overly complex action sequences slow rather than accelerate the narrative. Heaps of information about geography, climate change, humanity’s impact on animals, and species reintroduction is shared, appealing to readers who are interested in these subjects but possibly not engaging others. The introduction of an unnamed villain in the final chapter hints at future entries. A handful of grayscale illustrations highlight moments of high drama. Human characters are primarily described in terms of sex and height, making ethnicity difficult to determine.

Readers committed to animal rights may find solidarity in this educational adventure.

(Fiction. 8-12)