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Endangered (Ape Quartet Series#1)

Endangered (Ape Quartet Series#1)

3.7 18
by Eliot Schrefer

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Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.

When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature.

But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution


Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good.

When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature.

But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution breaks out in the country, the sanctuary is attacked, and the two of them must escape unprepared into the jungle. Caught in the crosshairs of a lethal conflict, they must struggle to keep safe, to eat, and to live.

In ENDANGERED, Eliot Schrefer plunges us into a heart-stopping exploration of the things we do to survive, the sacrifices we make to help others, and the tangled geography that ties us all, human and animal, together.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Eliot Schrefer grounds this taut, heart-wrenching tale in details gleaned from his work on a similar sanctuary and paints vivid portraits of intelligent, peaceful primates…
—Mary Quattlebaum
The New York Times Book Review
Sometimes during an act of heroism, it's the savior who ends up being saved. Such is the case in Eliot Schrefer's dazzling, big-hearted novel Endangered…As riveting as the action is, it's the nuanced portraits of the characters, human and ape, that make the story so deeply affecting.
—Vicki Constantine Croke
Publishers Weekly
Schrefer (The Deadly Sister) shines a light on an oft-overlooked part of the world with this intense adventure set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When Sophie, a half-American, half-Congolese 14-year-old, visits her mother at a bonobo sanctuary, her biracial origins make her feel out of place, but she finds purpose by bonding with and caring for Otto, an abused juvenile bonobo. Civil war breaks out while Sophie’s mother is away, and Sophie is inadvertently trapped in a country beset by starvation, roving bands of killers, and natural hazards. To stay alive, Sophie and Otto live off the land, travel in secret, and coexist with other bonobos, while seeking escape or refuge from the chaos. Schrefer spares no detail, fully exposing the horrors of war as he chronicles Sophie’s struggle for survival. This drama is clearly written from the heart, smoothly educating readers about the perilous dichotomy of the Congo and the heart-wrenching plight of the endangered bonobo, without sacrificing the intensity of the story. Sophie, meanwhile, demonstrates herself to be tenacious, resourceful, and strong, making decisions that, while not always smart, are driven by compassion. Ages 12–18. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

Praise for ENDANGERED:

A 2012 National Book Award Finalist

Winner of the Green Earth Prize

An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults choice

“Dazzling, big-hearted . . . As riveting as the action is, it's the nuanced portraits of the characters, human and ape, that make the story so deeply affecting.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

* “Schrefer spares no detail . . . This drama is clearly written from the heart.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

“Taut, heart-wrenching.” – THE WASHINGTON POST

“A poignant and moving story.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL


* "Well-drawn characters, realistic dialogue, and suspenseful twists and turns add to the appeal. Teens crave mystery, and this book will suit them just fine." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"The page-turning action and the potent relationship between the two sisters will keep teens' attention right up to the final confession." -- BOOKLIST


"Teens might behave dangerously themselves to get their hands on this page-turner.” -- BOOKLIST

“Gripping, violent and terrifying.” -- KIRKUS REVIEWS

VOYA - Teri S. Lesesne
Sophie has spent summer vacations with her mother in the Congo ever since her parents divorced. She has grown up in the bonobo sanctuary that is her mother’s life work: to protect the endangered species from the hands of those who steal them from the jungles and sell them illegally. This summer begins with Sophie rescuing a small bonobo from a roadside vendor, something she has been taught not to do. Sophie, though, cannot bear to see an animal in pain. Thus, Otto enters her life. Otto is bonded to Sophie and follows here everywhere. So when unrest means evacuation from the Congo, Sophie is reluctant to leave Otto behind. Instead, she risks her life to find a way to get them both to safety. Schrefer combines successfully the thrilling adventure of jungle survival with the heartwarming story of Sophie and Otto. These two elements should mean a wide open audience. The environment, political upheaval, race, animal rights, and other ethical issues are part of the narrative, but they are presented as multi-faceted and complex. There are no easy answers or solutions. Additional materials include an author interview, information about the Congo, and information about bonobos. Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Michele Lauer-Bader
Since her parent's divorce, fifteen-year-old Sophie travels to the Congo each summer to visit her mom. Her mom manages a sanctuary for bonobos, the closest living relative to humans. When she arrives in Kinshasa, the capital, civil war is breaking out and traveling is dangerous. While there, she buys a maltreated bonobo and brings him to her mom's sanctuary. When they arrive at the sanctuary, the bonobo, now named Otto, is quickly evaluated and treated for malnutrition. The plan is for Sophie to stay there with friends while her mom transports several bonobos to a preserve dedicated to their species. While her mom is gone, the sanctuary is attacked and Sophie and Otto barely escape with their lives. They eventually make their way to the preserve and safety and a reunion with her mom and dad (who has traveled from the United States to bring her home.) Schrefer vividly describes their escapes and travels and the story comes alive. Although this is a fictional book, there is a wealth of information about the Democratic Republic of Congo and the trafficking and saving of bonobos. It would make a good discussion book. An interview with the author is included as well as a short list of organizations working on conservation and on the preservation of bonobos. Endangered is a great story with believable characters and lots of action and will appeal to adults as well as teen readers. Reviewer: Michele Lauer-Bader
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Fourteen-year-old Sophie rescues Otto, a young chimp, while spending the summer at her mother's bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the president is assassinated and war breaks out, Sophie has a chance to return home to the United States but cannot bear to leave Otto. Their journey to safety takes them into the bonobo enclosure, but the real danger begins when they venture out and risk encountering rebel soldiers. Schrefer excels at imbuing the bonobos with individual personalities and endearing quirks. The bond between Sophie and Otto is so expertly depicted that it almost seems like a parent/child relationship, and readers will readily relate to the anguish the girl feels as she debates leaving her pet behind. The novel tackles tough ethical dilemmas without offering easy answers and delves into racial politics (Sophie's mixed racial heritage influences how others treat her), giving the book a nuanced tone. Schrefer portrays painful scenes in unflinching detail, and his powerful use of language drives the story forward. However, Sophie often seems preternaturally skilled for a teenager who has spent limited time in the Congo. Several moments stretch plausibility, such as when she rescues Otto from a group of soldiers or when she becomes leader of the bonobo tribe. Additionally, because Sophie is recounting the story as an adult looking back, her voice is often far more mature and polished than most adolescent protagonists. Yet despite the flaws, this is a poignant and moving story.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Ape Quartet Series , #1
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.10(d)
900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Eliot Schrefer's Endangered and Threatened were named as finalists for the National Book Award. He is also the author of The Deadly Sister, The School for Dangerous Girls, Glamorous Disasters, and The New Kid. He lives in New York City. Visit him online at www.eliotschrefer.com.

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Endangered 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honsetly loved this book! Imonly 11 and i.really enjoyed it!
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Review: "Endangered" by Eliot Schrefer was quite some thrill of a read. Truly the novel was a well written read of the real issues of the 'terrifyingly real world of the Democratic Repuglic of the Congo.' The story was of a young girl named Sophie(half white and half black) who was very responsible and courageous...a protagonist, and her journey to get away from violence that was all around her while she was protecting a bonobo(Otto). Now you may be asking just what is a 'Bonobo?' As you read "Endangered" you will see how this heroine was able to grow and even mature as she goes about to save this one bonobo all by herself. I found this read a page turner because it was hard to put down until the very end. This fast paced storytelling was simply off the chart good! In your read you will see just why saving the bonobos were so important. The author did a very good job at illustrating this relationship between the human and animals. For Sophie will find 'love, friendship and compassion. "Endangered" is very emotional and a very intriguing story that will leave you saying 'Wow!'...what a good read only leaving you with the thought of those who ework with these 'Bonobos' are truly amazing people. With that being said...Yes, I would recommend this novel as a excellent read not only for the young...as a adult I really enjoyed this read.
DizzyDuckJohnson81 More than 1 year ago
This book was worse than I expected I chose this book because it looked like an adventure book. I thought this book would be about a boy trying to protect his monkey from people who wanted to kill the monkey for its skin, so he had to run away. Turns out the book wasn’t what I expected, it was actually about a girl in Congo trying protect her bonobo and to survive while a civil war broke out and nowhere was safe. The girl's name is Sophie and the book actually was an adventure book. I disliked this book because it said some swear words towards the end. Also because when the bad people killed other people they stripped them and metal staked them through the ground, I didn't know this book was going to be like this. Overall I think ten and under should not read this book and I think I will give it a two star rating.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Endangered is a very different type of YA novel. I would have LOVED this book as a pre-teen. I was pretty obsessed with Jane Goodall and her work with chimpanzees, Gorillas in the Mist, and Matthew Broderick’s Project X. (I still love that movie!) Sophie lives in Miami with her father, but every summer she goes back to Congo, where she was born, to stay with her mother, who runs a bonobo sanctuary there. On her way to the sanctuary this summer, Sophie runs into a desperate man trying to sell a baby bonobo. Knowing it’s a bad idea to buy bonobos, but not knowing what else she can do to get this baby to her mother, Sophie gives the man all of her American money and becomes a “mother”. Baby bonobos die without their mothers. They need close contact with them for the first 5 years of their lives. Sophie’s mother is very mad at her, but she allows her to mother Otto anyway because she’s trying to teach her a lesson. Otto is not allowed into the nursery with the other baby bonobos and the “mamas” until they’re sure he doesn’t have any viruses. Sophie lives in her mother’s office at the sanctuary and parents Otto 24/7. Right after her mother goes to a remote location in the country to release some mature bonobos into the wild, all hell breaks loose when the president is killed and militant rebels take over. Sophie manages to escape an attack on the sanctuary and live in the enclosure with Otto and a bunch of rehabilitated bonobos. This is where it got interesting! I enjoyed all of the bonobo information and Sophie’s adventure and struggles to keep herself and Otto alive during the turmoil in Congo. It was refreshing to read a YA book that was about parental love instead of romantic love. Both Sophie’s relationship with Otto and her relationships with her own parents were very interesting. But this book was kind of slow. It’s only 250 pages, but it seemed to take me forever to get through. It wasn’t as suspenseful as I would have hoped. And because Sophie is on her own with only bonobos, there is almost no dialogue. This book was enjoyable, but not lovable. It’s the first book in a quartet where each book is a different story about humans and an ape species (bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas). I’m curious about the other books, but I am going to let my book club mates try them first. They both enjoyed this book a lot more than I did since they’re bigger animal lovers. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-endangered-by-eliot-schrefer/
nyc24601 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! What a great introduction to great apes, and especially the less known Bonobos. A really engaging plot, with a great conservation message!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (2012) If you follow the book award season, you've probably already heard about this National Book Award Finalist from 2012. Either way Endangered is an Important book about the political unrest in the Congo and the horrible state of affairs for Bonobo monkeys in the area. Sophie spends every summer with her mother in the Congo and expects this year to be much of the same. Until she becomes the reluctant (and unlikely) foster mother to a baby Bonobo she names Otto. Then war breaks out and Sophie is isolated and trapped with the Bonobos at her mother's conservation preserve. Schrefer went to the Congo to research this book and it shows in the details and nuances of the setting and Sophie's relationship with Otto and the other Bonobos. The story is gripping and exciting. Because of the emphasis on action and survival, this is a great book for any reader. Endangered would also be a particularly strong choice for reluctant readers and/or readers who are hesitant to read books with a female narrator. Reading Endangered it is immediately obvious why this book was a National Book Award finalist. As the story progresses it is also apparent why this book did not ultimately win. While Sophie and Otto are great characters in a page-turning story, Sophie's voice was not always convincing. Sophie is fourteen during the events of the story. While her narration is insightful and contemplative, it also often sounds like a much older character. The epilogue is also frustrating. Without getting into spoilers it felt very incongruous to have an epilogue years later and have one of the supposed key things about Sophie's life be that she is engaged and has dated several boys. There were so many other things to say, other details to share. After a totally empowering, dramatic read the epilogue brought Endangered to a close on a slightly sour note. *This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA 2012*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jared-G More than 1 year ago
Well based on my opinion of the book Endabgered by Eliot Schrefer, I truly believe that this novel is one of the best that I have ever read because when I first read the book, I really got interested into the book by reading the first few chapters. This book lead me into trying to read more of the book and how it plays out. The stories theme about survival of Endangered is similarly compared to Life of Pi because both main characters, Pi and Sophie, had a companion by their side. In Endangered, Sophie had Otto which has a bonobo as her companion while Pi has Richard Parker as his companion to show them support. I recommend people who are reading my review and people who has not read this book actually read the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A horribly written bland and emotionless tale about ignorance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book a lot. When i started reading it i just couldnt stop myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
I knew I was going to like Endangered long before I read the first page; I'm a sucker for animal books. I've never read an animal book I didn't like. That didn't mean Endangered was going to be a good book. Endangered was a good book. I was sucked into it with the first paragraph; the writing was beautiful, and the bonobos won my heart over. I can remember each of their names in the stories, even if I can't tell you a name of a single human character. They were the stars of the show, their goofiness and animal ferocity making them more memorable than most characters I encounter on a daily basis. There were still issues with it; as the revolution went on, there were a few scenes that seemed scattered and out of place - for instance, our main character has to rescue Otto from a young soldier, and that entire scene felt... odd and unnecessary, because the plot and characters didn't develop from the scene. (Of course, I have an ARC; that may have been cut out in the final version, but I doubt it.) However, the lyrical writing and the bonobos - Otto! Songolia! I even liked Anastasia. - make the book more than worth the read, and by the end of the story, you may want to throw yourself into the Congo to go work with bonobos. I know I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable. I even cried at certain parts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi i am krystah and i love this book im only on page 22 and may i say this is one of the bestest books i have ever read so i juss gotta say to keep writing awesome booka jussike this i hope to be a book writer juss like yuu and write a book kinda like yours i mean yuu inspire me and thats probly good news for yuu so goodbye and i hope yuu like my review so byebye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book ok for children? Is it appropriate? Please answer my question i need to know. THANKS!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you mrsvaljones for ruining this book by revealing every plot point. Just another book i cannit buy because yiu ruined it. Bn, another sale lost!