From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—On his summer vacation, Jack joins his scientist father and a research assistant to tag lions on the Tanzanian savanna but is stranded in the wilderness when their small plane crashes, killing both men. The survival story takes an extraordinary turn when the injured 13-year-old finds himself cared for by a boyish primate he comes to call Stone Boy. Jack remembers his father's excitement, earlier, when Jack found a trail of ancient primatelike footprints and begins wondering if tagging lions was just a cover for a deeper interest in tracking evidence of early man. The author develops Stone Boy with just enough human qualities to make him endearing, yet realistic. The unlikely friends learn to communicate using gestures and noises, make spears to kill game, and build fires with glass from the plane. The short idyll is disrupted by the appearance of Stone Boy's tribe, including his mother; its alpha leader; and Mohawk, a primate whose penchant for violence makes Jack even more resolved to find his way back to civilization. A satisfying ending includes an emotional rescue and Jack's tight-lipped explanation of his experiences, protecting Stone Boy, as his friend had protected him. Factual information about anthropologists and African wildlife intertwines with speculative fiction to create a fast-paced adventure that middle graders will relish.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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About the Author
Petru Popescu is the author of The Return, The Oasis, Amazon Beaming, and the bestselling novel Almost Adam. He grew up in Romania and now lives in California with his family.