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My Life with the Chimpanzees


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About the Author

Jane Goodall, famous for her studies of chimpanzees, has established the Gombe Stream Research Centre in Tanzania; founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education, and Conservation; and created the Roots & Shoots program to inspire young people to implement local projects that promote care for animals, the environment, and the human community.


Noted scientist and conservationist Goodall provides listeners with stories about her life and her experiences studying chimpanzees in Africa. She talks about her first exposure to animals at a farm near her home and how the book Dr. Doolittle helped crystallize her desire. Later Goodall comments on her first trip to the continent and how meeting Dr. Louis Leakey led to her life's work, living among the animals, learning their behaviors, and bringing that information to the rest of the world. Though this tape starts out as an autobiography, it focuses mostly on the work of the Goodall Institute and "Roots and Shoots," organizations created to encourage the protection of animals and their habitats. The author reads her own tale and seems sort of detached even when discussing her interest in saving the world's animals. The book also lacks depth, glossing over Goodall's life and telling her story simply, which could make this tedious listening for adults. For public and school libraries. Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

So enthusiastically does Goodall relate the first 28 years of her life in the jungles of Tanzania that her odyssey appears to have just begun. The story of her life with the chimpanzees of Gombe has long been available to adults; in this book she brings that world to young readers and may very well inspire them to follow in her footsteps.The book begins with tales of her childhood in England and her earliest awareness of the needs of animals, her friendship with Louis Leakey and her trip with her motherto the first camp at Gombe. Goodall talks of the sacrifices of living as she hasher first marriage ended in divorce, and she sees her family (including her son Grub) infrequently. Stories of the chimps dominate the bookthey threaten to steal the show in many instances; readers will love meeting these personable animals. And because anecdotes about the chimps bear rereading, an index or other means of looking up a particular fact would have been a bonus. Ages 8-12. (March)

Gr 4-6 Goodall's autobiography pre sents a fascinating insight into her per sonal life, her research, and her philos ophy. A major part of the book covers her work at the Gombe Stream Re search Center in Tanzania and includes observations of a chimp family through several generations. Many of the pho tographs from this period were taken by her first husband, Hugo van Lawick. Their son, Grub, is a focal point of many of her anecdotes about life in the camp at Gombe. Goodall completes her story by encouraging young people to nurture an interest in nature, giving ad vice on how to observe animals and stressing the importance of preserving wildlife. Her autobiography reflects on the importance of friends and family and the need for humans to coexist with nature. The writing flows smoothly, and the progression of stories blends well to present to readers a sincere, al though sometimes sentimental, human being. Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukie, Oreg.

"An engrossing tale of adventure and commitment".

-- Defenders of Wildlife

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