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UP CLOSE: JANE GOODALL by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen


by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06263-8
Publisher: Viking

Jane Goodall, well-known primatologist, was aware of her interest in animals from earliest childhood. As a five-year-old, she spent hours quietly observing a hen in a chicken coop in order to find out where eggs came from in much the same way she would later study primates. After graduating from high school but lacking the money for more education, Goodall creatively found a way to study African primates, first reaching the continent to visit a friend and then finding secretarial work with anthropologist Louis Leakey. He became her mentor, playing a key role in arranging for Goodall’s research in Gombe. There her detailed study of the social relations of chimpanzees resulted in vastly enhanced understanding of primate behavior. The entertaining anecdotal narrative focuses more on Goodall’s relationships and experiences than her scientific impact: While her gentle enthusiasm is evident throughout, her place in the academic world is less clear. The few grainy black-and-white photographs do little to enhance the presentation. A well-researched but merely serviceable overview of Goodall’s life. (source notes, bibliography, index, photo credits) (Biography. 12 & up)