Grades 7 & Up
Sophie's mother runs a sanctuary for bonobo chimpanzees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Africa. While visiting from America for a few weeks, Sophie rescues a bonobo from a man in the markets of Kinshasa. Otto, the badly abused bonobo, quickly bonds with Sophie, but she knows she must leave him soon to return to her father in the United States.
When the Congolese president is assassinated, and armed revolution breaks out across the entire country, Sophie's status as U.S. citizen means she can safely be extracted and returned to her home in the States... but it also means she must leave her Congolese friends at the sanctuary... and she must leave Otto.
Forced into a UN rescue van against her will, to be returned home, Sophie makes a daring decision and jumps from the van to return and care for Otto. A dangerous choice... especially when the sanctuary is attacked. Sophie and Otto miraculously escape into the gated bonobo enclosure while everyone else there is brutally murdered. Sophie and Otto must survive both the wilds of the jungle enclosure and the wild anger of revolutionaries trying to destroy the country.
Gripping and beautifully written, this powerful novel about survival in the face of many types of danger may redefine your definitions of human and animal.