Luc is older now, his mother gone. He lives in a house of mistreated orphans, barely getting by. Read more...
Luc is older now, his mother gone. He lives in a house of mistreated orphans, barely getting by. Then a man calling himself Prof comes to town with a mysterious mission. When Luc tries to rob him, the man isn't mad. Instead, he offers Luc a job.
Together, Luc and Prof head into the rough, dangerous jungle in order to study the elusive chimpanzees. There, Luc finally finds a new family -- and must act when that family comes under attack.
As he did in his acclaimed novel ENDANGERED, a finalist for the National Book Award, Eliot Schrefer takes us somewhere fiction rarely goes, introducing us to characters we rarely get to meet. The unforgettable result is the story of a boy fleeing his present, a man fleeing his past, and a trio of chimpanzees who are struggling not to flee at all.
- ISBN-13: 9780545551434
- ISBN-10: 0545551439
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: February 2014
- Page Count: 278
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
- Dimensions: 8.56 x 5.84 x 1.01 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.86 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Schrefer switches focus from bonobos to chimpanzees in this engrossing, meticulously researched, and gripping tale of survival in the deep wilds of Gabon, a thematic follow-up to 2012’s Endangered. Luc, a 13-year-old orphan and debt slave, is hired by Prof, who wants to become the first African “janegoodall,” and the two venture into the jungle to study the chimpanzees that dwell within. When tragedy strikes, Luc is left alone, forced to survive by any means necessary. Forging a tentative truce with a small family of chimpanzees, he ekes out a desperate though increasingly satisfying existence. As man and “mock man” grow to understand one another, they take on all manner of threats, including human hunters, animal predators, and even another chimpanzee tribe. Schrefer’s passion for the material and empathy for the characters shows on every page, and his non-human subjects are every bit as complex and fascinating as narrator Luc. The setting comes fully to life, and Schrefer pulls no punches as he showcases the beauty and danger of both urban Gabon and the jungle. Ages 12–up. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (Mar.)
BookPage Top Pick in Teen Books, March 2014
Somewhere deep within the African jungles of Gabon, a young street boy searches for a family, a home and a purpose beyond simply fighting for survival. While Threatened is the account of his learning to survive in the wild, it’s also the tale of his learning to trust and accept others, even if they don’t share the same genus and species.
Luc—an AIDS-orphaned child of the slums who’s only vaguely aware of his own age—was sold to a local debt collector as an indentured servant to pay off his mother’s hospital bills for her unsuccessful care. Barely scraping by, Luc one day befriends an Arab professor and researcher from the National Geographic Society who appears at the bar where Luc works illegally for pocket change. The “Prof,” as Luc calls him, has traveled to Gabon—home of the largest concentration of chimpanzees in the world—in hopes of becoming the next Jane Goodall and bringing more national attention to the chimps’ fragile existence.
Prof uses cunning and deceit to procure Luc from the debt collector as his research assistant. Prof, Omar (his pet vervet monkey) and Luc set up camp in the middle of the rainforest and fortuitously stumble upon a small family of chimpanzees. As Luc observes the wild beasts that once haunted his nightmares, he learns firsthand of their humanity—from their ferocity as much as from their kindness and personalities—and develops better relationships with them than he ever has with people. But with hunters and far worse dangers surrounding them, Luc must constantly put his life on the line to protect this blended family he’s come to love.
Author Eliot Schrefer, whose novel Endangered was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award, combines his interest in conservation and education in Threatened—his eighth novel overall and the second in his Great Ape Quartet—to draw his readers ever nearer to the edge of this primitive, natural world. He asks us to jump with him into the unencumbered jungle to see all the beauty and mystery that only the wild can offer.