Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel L680
This is a thought provoking book about a family that raises a chimpanzee as a human child as part of an experiment to determine if chimps can learn and communicate through American Sign Language. Their only child becomes quite attached to Zan and sees him as he little brother. When the experiment is deemed a failure it calls into question the rights of animals, and the role humans should and do play when messing with nature. There were some parts that were a bit mature as Ben, the main character, begins to come of age and falls for the girl next door. Overall a good book, especially if you like animals and coming of age novels. While the author doesn't indicate it, the book seems to be loosely based on the experiments that Gardner did with real chimps in the late 60's.