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Eva Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1990

70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Unusually rewarding and challenging.”—Booklist, Starred

“Sure to entertain, but thought-provoking as well.”—Kirkus Reviews, Pointer

About the Author

Peter Dickinson is the author of many books for adults and young readers and has won numerous awards. He lives in England with his wife.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1010L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (October 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440207665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440207665
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Dickinson was born in Africa, but raised and educated in England. From 1952 to 1969 he was on the editorial staff of the British satirical magazine, Punch, and since then has earned his living writing fiction of various kinds for adults and children.

Amongst many other awards, Peter Dickinson has been nine times short-listed for the prestigious British Carnegie medal for children's literature and was the first author to win it twice. He has won the Phoenix Award twice for "The Seventh Raven" and "Eva". He won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for "Chance, Luck and Destiny". "Eva" and "A Bone from A Dry Sea" were ALA Notable Books and SLJ Best Books of the Year. "The Ropemaker" was awarded the Mythopoeic Award for Children's Literature and was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. Peter's books for children have also been published in many languages throughout the world. His latest collection of short stories, "Earth and Air", was published in October and his latest novel, "In the Palace of the Khans" was published in November.

Peter Dickinson was the first author to win the British Crime-Writers Golden Dagger for two books running: Skin Deep (1968), and A Pride of Heroes (1969). He He has written twenty-one crime and mystery novels, which have been published in several languages.

He has been chairman of the UK Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded an O.B.E. for services to literature in 2009.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kara Reuter on September 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story opens as 13-year-old Eva wakes up in a hospital bed to find that she has been seriously injured in a car crash and has been in a coma for months. As she slowly regains consciousness, she experiences strange sensations and dreams until she learns that her life has been saved with an unprecedented medical procedure in which her memories have been implanted into the brain and body of a chimpanzee. Eva is set in the future, in a dystopian urban world in which humans have destroyed most of the world and are isolated in super high rises and fed a steady stream of television. Eva's father is a researcher of captive, habituated chimps with whom Eva was essentially raised. Eva's operation and recovery were sponsored by a manufacturer of juice products, who contractually own her and exploit her to advertise their products. As she recovers and adjusts to her new life, she begins to identify with the chimp part of herself and relates to the other chimps, leading her to resist her handlers and her parents and campaign for greater autonomy for herself and her fellow chimps. Eva eventually becomes the poster child for animal rights activists and a figure to whom many people look as an inspiration as the human race is degenerating. Eventually, like her Biblical namesake, Eva is sent to an Edenic paradise with a troop of chimps to teach them to live in the wild and be televised worldwide for the entertainment of humans. As events transpire, Eva and her troop are left possibly to repopulate the planet and begin the evolution of the human race again. The story raises all kinds of existential questions about what makes us who we are, what is our relationship with animals, and what are our responsibilities to nature and the environment.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for a boook report and i dont really like reading books. I usually end up finishing them up the weekend before there due. But as soon as I started to read this i couldn't put it down it was sooooooo good! My mind just got caught up into all the text. If you really like exciting books i suggest this book because it just traps you inside and you cant get out. if you read this book you wont want to put it down!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By librarianshannon on May 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I selected Eva by Peter Dickinson simply because my local branch had it. I didn't know what it was about but, as I began reading and learning about a young girl who had something weird done to her while in a coma in the hospital, I thought, "oh boring sci fi stuff" and kept going to get it done. But on page 17, when I find out she's got her brain in an ape's body, I sort of stopped and thought, "I'd better pay attention."

Using the content analysis for young adult fantasy described in France A. Dowd and Lisa C. Taylor's "Is there a typical YA fantasy?" (Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, Winter 1992), I realized how generalized and unclear the genre is. As a subgenre, I place Eva in animal fantasy, though this ape is literally embodying human intelligence in the form of Eva the human's brain. It feels real, because her transformation is so well developed and carefully explained. The type of conflict, well, none of the classics seem dominant. There is person against person, person against self, personal against society, and person against nature - which proves the dynamic characterization of Dickinson's main character.

Dickinson's story is simple and yet very complicated; you know this, but you can read along and tackle the more difficult issues at your own reading level. Apparently it's read to facilitate conversations such as extending human life and treatment of animals in medicine and sociology. These are the types of issues you consider while reading, as opposed to my original assumption - which would be a girl losing her blue eyes and sweet smile for a bubble butt and protruding teeth. It really isn't about Eva the girl as much as Eva the person and this makes it quite different from the other young adult books I've read. If you are a careful reader, you begin to find a lot of layered analogies, but they don't feel forced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By zugenia on August 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My dad gave me this book when I was a kid, and the opening chapters always stuck with me: a teenage girl waking out of a coma following a horrific accident to find that her mind has been relocated to the body of a chimpanzee. It's a seriously haunting premise. I couldn't remember the rest of the story, though, so I recently reread it to see if it was still good. And it's wonderful. Set in a mundanely nightmarish future, in which the natural world has been all but destroyed by human industry, and most wildlife is extinct, and every bit of space on Earth--physical, virtual, and conceptual--is controlled by corporate interests, this variation of Kafka's Metamorphosis imagines the breakdown of modern humanity and humanism with a kind of fearlessness uncommon in young adult literature. Eva's father is a chimp researcher, and Eva herself has a precocious understanding of and comfort with chimps before her accident. As she comes to consciousness in her new body (that of the chimpanzee Kelly), Eva survives only because she understands that she must learn to be a new kind of creature--not human, not ape, and not something simply "in-between," but an entirely new category that she must create by consciously living it.

In addition to taking on complex questions of identity with energy and intelligence (it would be interesting to pair this book with something like Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians), Dickinson's novel offers wonderful descriptions of processes of socialization, both human and chimp. It reminded me of all the things I loved best about books when I was a kid: naturalist research, tales of survival, precocious kids analyzing the nutty adult world around them and strategizing their escape. And apes. Fierce, fuzzy, tantrum-throwing, game-playing, bug-eating apes.
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