Gorilla Dawn — 7 Comments

  1. Like some of the others, the terms “evil spirit” would bother me as a mom if my elementary child was reading this book. I did think the book was a good portrayal of the trials many kids not in first world countries deal with regularly.
    I think this book would appeal to animal lovers and in the end, challenge the reader by giving them more than they bargained for as they would also be challenged by good vs evil occupations/powers and also dealing with trauma.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I finished it while reading by my lantern in a tent, which seemed appropriate since this story takes place mainly in the jungle of the Congo. 

In starting the book, I did not think I was going to enjoy it…especially reading it as a possible option for elementary school age kids.

My main concern was a young girl, I think around 10-12 years old, who is believed to be possessed by the devil or evil spirits. She herself believes she is hearing the devil speak to her. From what I understood as the story resolved itself in the end, it was her own doubts and lack of confidence (an unhealthy conscious) speaking to her…those negative thoughts that so many of us have dealt with at one point or another.

    This is not the main storyline, but it is a significant part of the main character’s life for the majority of the book. I work with so many students who come from unhealthy situations or have experienced some type of trauma at some point in their young lives. Even for “healthy” students, my concern is how much this evil spirit description might have on young minds. If there is concern about a student reading this book, a teacher or another adult recommending the book would need to introduce a bit of a “spoiler” for a student by explaining that Imara’s evil spirit is actually her own negative thoughts and conscious.

This book would be appealing to boys and girls because there are both a strong main female girl and boy characters. It is also for animal lovers and those who are attracted to themes of good vs evil.

  3. I have to admit that I did not like this book very much. The first few pages, with the demon possession, will bother some children and parents alike. I think once the reader gets further into the book, that it will appeal to a wide range of animal lovers and those involved in environmental issues. The ending does wrap everything up nicely. It is a fairly quick read, but it is not a book I would purchase for my classroom library.

  4. The first word that popped into my head upon finishing this book was “timely.” New technology is constantly being rolled out, and we in the West so often don’t see the larger ripple effects of our consumption of goods and services from around the world. This story brings that aspect home for me. I really think the greater message of this story is asking us to consider what we need versus what we want, and how our actions or desires have such large impacts on people and countries we will never encounter.
    The characters were well written and I loved that it followed more than one protagonist and told several stories through supporting characters. It was a suspenseful read and could really pull a young reader along swiftly. I hope to see this book on many reading lists and library shelves.

  5. I did agree with another comment about this book being hard to get into at the beginning. The message is good and I agree kids should know about these types of situations of cultures/diversity. I am an animal lover so some parts were hard for me, but knowing the truth about endangered species is important. I enjoyed the ending and liked it more after I was finished with it.

  6. At first, this book was hard to “get into”. I will recommend it to my readers of quirky books. I love the illustration on the cover of the book. I think it will get lots of check outs just because of the neat cover. I liked how the environmental emphasis didn’t hit the reader over the head too hard, and make us feel bad for being humans, like some environmental emphasis books are known to do. It was a neat exploration of how technology can help…or harm. I appreciated the daughter/father angst, but how it got resolved may have been a bit too tidy of a bow… but I think elementary students who love a happy ending will appreciate this book.

  7. I did not like this book very much. I thought that the message was okay and the concept was interesting, but I did not think that the characters were very strong. I would not get this for my classroom library. If this book was used in the classroom, it could be used with a lesson about protecting wildlife.

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