Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and Her Relentless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas

Anita Silvey. National Geographic Kids, $28.90 (96p) ISBN 978-1-4263-7186-8
Silvey (Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall) tells the story of Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life to studying and advocating for gorillas. Born in San Francisco in 1932, Fossey wasn’t allowed to have any animals, but as an adult she fulfilled her dream of visiting East Africa; there, she saw mountain gorillas for the first time, immediately feeling a deep connection with them. Conducting a field study observing gorillas in the wild, Fossey made her home in the Virunga Mountains, soon identifying individual gorillas and their families, and observed and mimicked their behavior. But Fossey “started terrorizing” poachers, one of whom killed Digit, a gorilla with whom she had developed a close relationship. Silvey deals honestly with Fossey’s internal battles, including alcohol reliance and emotional trauma, and her murder in 1985, but largely elides the myriad repercussions of her anti-poaching efforts. Employing lush, full-color photographs of gorillas and rainforest-covered mountains, and informative sidebars on related themes (e.g., the history of San Francisco, the Leakey family) this is a visually compelling, though limited, treatment of its subject. Includes a foreword by Ellen DeGeneres, extensive notes, maps, and suggested resources for further study. Ages 8–12. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/29/2021
Release date: 06/29/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 96 pages - 978-1-4263-7185-1
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