Cover image for Unlikely heroes : 37 inspiring stories of courage and heart from the animal kingdom
Unlikely heroes : 37 inspiring stories of courage and heart from the animal kingdom
Holland, Jennifer S., author.
Publication Information:
New York : Workman Publishing, 2014.
Physical Description:
246 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 21 cm
Thirty-seven stories of acts of animal heroism, including a pod of dolphins that shielded a group of swimmers from a great white shark and a feral male cat who risked everything to protect a kitten in a tornado.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library QL775.5 .H65 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library QL775.5 .H65 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library QL775.5 .H65 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lackawanna Library QL775.5 .H65 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library QL775.5 .H65 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library QL775.5 .H65 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



In her heartwarming New York Times bestsellers Unlikely Friendships and last year's Unlikely Loves , Jennifer Holland revealed the surprising emotional bonds that exist between animals of different species. Her books spent dozens of weeks on bestseller lists and caught the attention of major media from CBS This Morning to USA Today . Why? Because she opened our eyes to the rich inner lives of animals, showing us that the power of love and friendship is not for humans only.

In Unlikely Heroes , Ms. Holland uncovers and celebrates yet another side of animals that we often think belongs primarily to people--heroism, that indefinable quality of going above and beyond, often for altruistic reasons, often at great personal risk. These 37 inspiring true tales show animals whose quick acts have saved lives, like the pod of dolphins who protected swimmers in New Zealand from a great white shark by forming a screen around them. There are stories of animals who simply and unselfishly give, like Rojo the llama, who shines his very special light of lovingkindness on the elderly patients in an Oregon rehab center.

And there are compelling stories of heroic resilience: like Naki'o, the abandoned puppy who lost all four paws to frostbite but found the grit not only to overcome that terrible hardship but to reclaim the joy of life--that's him, smiling on the cover of the book.

Author Notes

Jennifer S. Holland is a senior writer for National Geographic magazine, specializing in science and natural history.

She is the author of The New York Times Bestselling titles Unlikely Friendships and Unlikely Loves.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jennifer Holland (Unlikely Friendships) continues her series of profiles of amazing animals in this heartwarming and inspiring collection of tales of animalistic altruism. Featured in her latest are stories of dolphins saving swimmers from sharks and dogs alerting their owners to fires. There's Scarlett, the calico cat who repeatedly dashed into a burning building to save her five kittens; Alyna, the rabbit who uses a specially designed set of wheels to compensate for her paralyzed rear legs; Jasmine, the sweet Greyhound that has mothered animals of all kinds from birds and foxes to badgers and fellow dogs; and Wicket, a dog who's helping conservationists identify and track rare animal species. Holland's book is pure celebration of different animals and their amazing feats. Fans of her previous work will likely lap this one up. Readers looking to explore the nuances of animal altruism will likely be left wading in the shallow end of the pool. Color photos. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-In this heartwarming follow-up to Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom (2011) and Unlikely Loves: 43 Heartwarming True Stories from the Animal Kingdom (2013, both Workman), Holland whips up enthusiasm for the selfless acts of different animals. The book is divided into "Superheroes" (animals engaging in thrilling acts of bravery, such as dolphins who rescue divers from great white sharks), "Everyday Heroes" (creatures still making an impact, including a llama that comforts the elderly and disabled), and "Big-Picture Heroes" (those unknowingly contributing to a larger effort, such as housecats that, through in-vitro fertilization, are gestating and giving birth to endangered black footed kittens). The heroes here run the gamut from wild to tame: rats sniff out landmines, a hippo saves a baby gazelle from a crocodile, a horse rescues his owner from an attacking dog, and more. A charming design enhances the text. Inspirational quotes set the mood for each section, insets throughout add related facts, and eye-catching photographs add to the adorable factor. The upbeat text has a positive tone, but these stories aren't mere fluff. They include plenty of quotes from experts, and Holland casts a critical eye over these tales, being careful not to anthropomorphize; for instance, when writing about the heroism of elephants, she also emphasizes that these large animals can be destructive. A sweet look at the animal kingdom.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Google Preview