Children’s Book Review: “Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and Her Relentless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas” from National Geographic

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Author Anita Silvey ends her “Ape Lady” trilogy with Unforgotten: The wild life of Dian Fossey and his relentless quest to save mountain gorillas, telling the story of monkey research pioneer and environmentalist Dian Fossey. Having already covered her contemporaries Jane Goodall (Wild) and Birutė Galdikas (Intrepid), this book is the perfect introduction to an important character that is both easy to read and suitable for children. With color photos and expanded learning sections, kids will walk away as if they’ve just met the Gorillas in the mist author.

(National geography)

Beginning with a preface by Ellen Degeneres, children learn from a public figure that they recognize the importance of Dian Fossey’s work. The actress and daytime TV host is passionate about animals and remembers her trip to Rwanda where she was able to visit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, a dream she had since childhood and that she had read for the first time on Dian in National Geographic magazine.

From his difficult childhood to his inspiration to pack his bags and move to Africa, Unforgettable teaches children the power they have over the pursuit of their own dreams. As Dian’s goal in life is achieved through the work that continues through the foundation she created, the story is ultimately tinged with sadness throughout. The actual story touches on the themes of addiction, revenge, and murder, but never graphically.

Despite Dian Fossey’s untimely death and his personal struggles, the book is still a source of inspiration. In some ways, Unforgettable actually provides kids with an example of how to handle difficult situations better by pointing out some of the mistakes Dian made. There is more to learn in these pages than conservation and the facts about gorillas.

Unforgettable: The wild life of Dian Fossey and his relentless quest will inspire children to want to help protect this important species. The resources at the end of the book include some examples, including programs where they can “adopt” a gorilla by contributing resources to protect it. And as part of a trio of women pioneering primate research and conservation, animal-loving kids will also want to check out Anita Silvey’s other two books in the series, which can be enjoyed in any order.

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Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and His Endless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas: Amazon.com


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