Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This lavishly photographed and beautifully designed book might make you think “coffee table” at first glance, but once you open it up, you realize it’s meant to be read. Sy Montgomery recounts her recent safari through the Rift Valley in Tanzania with wildebeast expert Dr. Richard Estes, sprinkling in science, politics, history and adventure. Readers will feel like they’re in the rugged SUV with the explorers, contending with tsetse flies and cracked differentials, elusive herds and lazy lions. Interspersed with this story are descriptions of other great migrations: Arctic terns, monarch butterflies and loggerhead turtles, to name a few. All of these events, which actually shape the landscape of our world, are endangered because of human activity and climate change and Montgomery does a masterful job of balancing awe with an aching sadness. There’s ways to get involved, an index and a bibliography.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? The prose in the book is so effective that I found myself drawn into the adventure. It would be a good fit for students in grades 3 all the way up to adults planning their own visits to Africa. If you’re not ready for the text, you can spend time pouring over the amazing illustrations and maps.
Who should buy this book? Elementary, middle and high schools, public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? 591.568
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes! Perfect for armchair traveling.
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: August 13, 2019