Booktalk Thursday-Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Sophie is torn between two worlds—she lives with her father in the states, but goes to visit her mother in the Congo whenever possible. Completely dedicated to her life’s work, Sophie’s mother runs a sanctuary for bonobo apes in the middle of the jungle. The Congo is a dangerous place and Sophie knows better than to stop the driver taking her to the sanctuary. When she sees the pitiful baby bonobo trailing behind a trapper, she can’t resist. Her mother has told her never to buy any of these apes, but if Sophie didn’t, what would happen to the little guy? After all, isn’t this her mom’s ultimate goal? To save bonobos?
Sophie’s mother is furious when she discovers that Sophie has purchased an ape, it just encourages the trappers. The little ape may not even make it, he looks so sick. According to her mother, it’s Sophie’s responsibility to bring him back to health or deal with his demise. She names the little guy Otto and dedicates herself to his care.
Sophie’s mom leaves on a quick business-related trip, leaving her behind at the sanctuary. Civil war breaks out in the Congo and the country is quickly overrun by rebels with machetes and guns. When the rebels take over the sanctuary, Sophie traps herself and Otto in the adult bonobo enclosure behind an electric fence. She’ll have to figure out a way to survive off the land, survive the adult bonobos who aren’t used to much human contact, and the hungry rebels who are determined to find a way past the electrified fence.
If you’re up for a really exciting adventure set in the jungle—look no further!
Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith if you’re looking for another thriller in an exotic location
Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby if you love animals, apes especially