Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Dian longed to go to Africa to study gorillas. Although she was not a formally trained scientist, she studied and read all she could about the Mountain Gorillas. In 1967, her dream came true and she set up camp in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda. She called the area Karisoke, named after the mountains that loomed above. Dian began to record all aspects of the lives of the 300 remaining Mountain Gorillas. She followed one named Digit for ten years until he was killed by hunters. In order to protect the gorillas, Dian wrote Gorillas in the Mist and went on the speaking circuit. She raised world awareness and the funds necessary to hire guards and spur additional research. In the afterword, readers learn that she met an untimely death at the age of fifty-three; she was apparently killed by hunters. Her studies spanned eighteen years and her final resting-place is beside her beloved gorilla Digit. Part of the "On My Own Biography" series for grades 2 and 3. 2000, Carolrhoda/Lerner, Ages 6 to 8, $19.93 and $5.95. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 2-3-This easy biography offers little more than snippets of information, abrupt transitions, and uninspired illustrations. Schott begins the account, when, at 27, Fossey got a notion to go to Africa, read some books, and proceeded to set up a research camp. The author gives no details about her subject's education, preparations, or a sense of what such time-intensive study entails. In fact, the passage of days, months, and years are easily confused in the cursory narrative. Somewhat flat and disproportionate color illustrations are adequate but unremarkable. Tom Matthews's Light Shining Through the Mist (National Geographic, 1998) is a more accurate, informative, smoothly written account of Fossey's life and work for slightly older readers.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
From The Critics
At first, it would seem unusual to have a biography about Dian Fossey geared toward very young children. Fossey was a strong-willed naturalist, extremely devoted to the study of mountain gorillas, who was likely murdered for her efforts to save those animals. But this book seeks to address her work, showing her as a role model for young girls who may be aspiring to be scientists and young boys who are beginning to take an interest in endangered species. In the briefest of story-time fashion, the book starts with a young, animal-loving Fossey in Kentucky, dreaming of Africa, and goes with her as she travels to Rwanda in 1967. Ultimately, she meets Effie and Marchessa, Icarus and Piper, and—her most beloved of the gorillas—Digit. The story ends with her efforts to publicize the gorillas' plight with her talks and her book Gorillas in the Mist. An afterword, with a photograph of the real Dian Fossey, lets the reader know of her ultimate fate. The illustrations are appropriately plentiful, but, unfortunately, not quite up to the lushness of the locale. Still, this nice beginning reader's biography of a remarkable woman is suitable for most elementary school libraries and children's sections of public libraries. (from the On My Own Biographies Series.) Recommended, Grades 1-2. REVIEWER: Katherine E. Gillen (Luke Air Force Base Library)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575054773
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000
  • Series: On My Own Biographies Series
  • Pages: 56
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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