Author Anita Silvey completes her “Ape Lady” trilogy with Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and Her Relentless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas, telling the story of ape research pioneer and conservationist Dian Fossey. Having already covered her contemporaries Jane Goodall (Untamed) and Birutė Galdikas (Undaunted), this book serves as a perfect introduction to an important figure that is both easy to read and kid friendly. With full color photos and expanded learning sections, Kids will walk away feeling like they just met the Gorillas in the Mist author.

(National Geographic)

(National Geographic)

Beginning with a foreword by Ellen Degeneres, kids learn from a public figure they recognize about the importance of Dian Fossey’s work. The comedian and daytime TV host is an animal enthusiast and recalls her trip to visit to Rwanda where she got to visit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, a dream she had ever since she was a child and first read about Dian in National Geographic magazine.

From her difficult childhood to her inspiration to pack up her life and move to Africa, Unforgotten teaches kids the power they have over pursuing their own dreams. While Dian’s goal in life is fulfilled through the work that continues by the foundation she created, the story is ultimately twinged with sadness throughout. The real-life story touches on themes of addiction, revenge, and murder, but never in a graphic way.

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

Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and Her Relentless Quest will inspire kids to want to help protect this important species. Resources at the end of the book include a few examples, including programs where they can “Adopt” a gorilla by contributing to resources to protect them. And as part of a trio of female pioneers in primate research and conservation, kids who love animals 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 Her Relentless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas: