Review Detail

Born Free for the New Millenium
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
From the point of view of one lioness, whom researchers called Lady, the devastation of an African habitat and its eventual restoration is painstakingly covered. The Liuwa Plain National Park is perfect for a variety of animals, but have been damaged due to war, poaching and other human interventions.
Good Points
Both history and science are well-represented in this title. We learn how social upheaval in Africa over an extended period of time has affected this preserve, and the damages to the ecosystem are explained quite well. Scientists went in to study the environment and to assess how it might be repaired, and then set out to put measures in place to return the area to a sustainable level. Since the damage took place over a period of time, positive changes also took a while.

There are some nice human interest moments as well-- there is an explanation of how lonely Lady was when she was first photographed in 2004. The lioness followed the crew back to camp, flopping down and purring in order to find companions!

Like most National Geographic titles, this is well formatted. There are many high quality pictures that support each facet of the story. New terms are printed in bold font, and pictures are captioned. There is a glossary at the end of the book, as well as a nice pictorial table of indigenous animals and a very complete index. This book is not only an interesting pleasure read, but would make an excellent resource for researching endangered animals or the environmental impact of humans.
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