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Safari Journal (Aspca Henry Bergh Children's Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover – April 1, 2003
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-This fictional diary of a 12-year-old boy provides information, adventure, and entertainment through photographs, illustrations, handwritten diary entries, and hastily scribbled notes. Carey is to spend two weeks in Kenya with his "wacky Aunt Elaine," who is a fashion photographer on her way to a photo shoot. After arriving, he befriends Mutongai, a Maasai man who was hired to drive the supplies overland to the shoot locations, and his son Pilot. Through a combination of facts, observations, and illustrations, each animal they encounter is introduced. Carey joins Mutongai and Pilot on their drive from Amboseli to the Maasai Mara Reserve. The trip takes the three on an unforgettable safari and Carey sees a side of Kenya that few outsiders ever encounter. Along the way, readers will catch glimpses of how the Maasai are trying to preserve their land and way of life. Thrown into the mix is a plot involving poachers and endangered rhinos. The information is delivered in thought-provoking and humorous ways and the lively journal/scrapbook entries will have wide appeal, including reluctant readers. This title could be used to initiate discussions about cultural identity, endangered animals, and ecotourism. An author's note provides brief background information.
Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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It's the most innovative children's book I've seen in a long time and will appeal to any child between the ages of 6 and 15. DON'T HESITATE -- BUY THIS BOOK! (you won't regret it!)
It's fabulous! Safari Journal will appeal to both girls and boys ages 7 to 15, as well some adults. My 5 year old daughter asked me to read it the day it arrived, and she sat through the whole story, although it was quite a long story for a 5 year old! (I'm not so sure this would be typical, though.)
I love the photographs, the innovative way factual information is interwoven within a funny, adventureous story and the feeling that you are reading the actual journal of this 12 1/2 year old.
Side note: If you've ever been to Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge and liked it, you'll LOVE this book. It highlights the same animals you'll see there and the same people that are showcased in the Animal Kingdom Lodge.