Schrefer, Eliot Rescued, 272 pages. Scholastic Press, 2016. $19. Language: PG (5 swears, 0 ‘f’).
When John was in the 5th grade, his father brings him back a baby orangutan from one of his business trips to Indonesia for a pet. When John is 12, the orangutan, Raja, bites off one of his fingers. When he is 14, his parents divorce and John leaves Raja behind with his father when he moves across the country with his mother. Now 16, John finds out that his Dad is losing the family home and he is selling Raja to a roadside zoo. When John comes to say goodbye to Raja, he finds that he just can’t leave him in the dinky, rundown place and so he steals Raja away, not having any idea how he is going to proceed to save the life of a wild animal that has been raised on video games and junk food.
I thought the other two books made me mad – those feelings were nothing compared to the feelings of anger I had while reading this one. Be ready to be disgusted by this rare, but still occurring travesty. And things don’t really get better when the action moves to Indonesia. Ugh! Schrefer knows how to pull on the heart strings.
EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Cindy, Library Teacher