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Baboon
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Gr 5-9-Gerry, 14, and his parents are returning to the African savannah after six months in London when their plane crashes, killing the pilot. When Gerry resumes consciousness, he discovers that he has come to live in the body of a baboon that is part of the group that his biologist parents are researching. He uses his human intellect and powers of reason to ensure his survival and growing acceptance by the troop; he also documents his gradual loss of his ability to count and read and track the passing days. After eight months as a baboon, a terrifying incident with a leopard triggers the teen's re-entry into his own body. The author soundly grounds his novel in accurate scientific detail about baboons. In spite of the less-than-satisfying ending in which doctors attempt to convince Gerry that he dreamed the entire experience while he was in a coma, readers craving adventure and nature-based drama will find this an engrossing follow-up to Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (S & S, 1987) and a logical introduction to Peter Dickinson's Eva (Delacorte, 1989).-Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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