Cover image for A boy and a jaguar
Title:
A boy and a jaguar
Author:
Rabinowitz, Alan, 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2014].

©2014
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Summary:
The renowned cat conservationist reflects on his early childhood struggles with a speech disorder, describing how he only spoke fluently when he was communicating with animals and how he resolved at a young age to find his voice to be their advocate.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

AD 670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 3.8

Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 166145.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780547875071
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner


Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion--their voice--but he stutters uncontrollably.

Except when he talks to animals...

Then he is fluent.

Follow the life of the man Time Magazine calls, "the Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation"as he searches for his voice and fulfills a promise to speak for animals, and people, who cannot speak for themselves. This real-life story with tender illustrations by Catia Chien explores truths not defined by the spoken word.



Author Notes

Alan Robert Rabinowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 31, 1953. He received a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Western Maryland College and a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. His dissertation was about the ecology of the raccoon in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

He became a leading big cat conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society. He established the world's first jaguar preserve in Belize and a vast tiger preserve in Myanmar. He co-founded the wild cat conservation organization Panthera in 2006. He wrote several books including Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness; Life in the Valley of Death: The Fight to Save Tigers in a Land of Guns, Gold, and Greed; An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar; and A Boy and a Jaguar. He died from lymphatic cancer on August 5, 2018 at the age of 64.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this poignant autobiography, Rabinowitz recalls the alienation he felt as a child who thought he was broken because he could not get his words out fluently. But there are other, more powerful ways of communicating, which Alan knows from the ease with which he talks to animals. As he grows up, he learns to both conquer and embrace the fact that he will always be a stutterer, and he soon becomes an advocate for animals. When, in the forest, he looks into the eyes of a jaguar and sees strength and power and sureness of purpose, readers will feel privileged to be part of this magical experience. Chien's impressionistic illustrations lend a gentle playfulness to the overall solemnity, with muted colors, expressive faces, and arrangements that draw attention to scale and size all of which remind us that there are many ways to tell a story, whether you are one with words, like Rabinowitz, or one without any, like the jaguar. A mature look at how some observant children understand the world better than some adults.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In his first book for children, conservationist and adult author Rabinowitz frames his lifelong struggle with stuttering against his equally long-held love of animals, which led to a career spent studying and advocating for them. "I am a stutterer," he explains. "If I try to push words out, my head and body shake uncontrollably." The first-person present-tense narration creates an intimate connection to the author's pain as he is placed "in a class for disturbed children," subjected to unsuccessful treatments, and considered "broken" and disruptive by teachers. With animals, however, his words flow easily, and a young Alan promises a lonely jaguar at the Bronx Zoo: "If I can ever find my voice, I will be their voice and keep them from harm." Shadowy charcoal lines and the often-muted colors of Chien's paintings amplify Alan's solitude, but also reflect the profound joy, wonder, and healing he discovers studying animals in the wild. It's a candid and deeply resonant account of a hard-fought battle against societal stigma, and an embrace of one's true talent and calling. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-As spokesperson for the Stuttering Foundation of America, Rabinowitz is a role model for those dealing with speech difficulties. As a child, he discovered that, while his ability to communicate with other people was a challenge, he had a rare empathy for animals. In this autobiographical work, listeners learn how he overcome difficulties to gain a college education and eventually become a jaguar conservationist in Central America. The evocative text shows how his feelings of being trapped by a disability are reflected in his understanding of animals that are also unable to communicate their needs. Children coping with speech disorders will find comfort and hope in his example. Adam Grupper narrates the story with clarity and compassion. This audiobook, however, would be best paired with the physical book, because the illustrations add another level of understanding to this warm and inspiring story.-Teresa -Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.