How to Be Animal: Lessons in evolution for the human animal

Perhaps it is human nature to rank things. We rank cities and states and countries. We have the best restaurants and best movies; we even have best friends. And when it comes to our relationships with animals we share this planet with, there is a fair amount of ranking there as well, with the human …

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Book Review: Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate’s Willodeen, out today from Feiwel and Friends, aptly begins with an epigraph quoting Greta Thunberg: “I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.”  This middle-grade novel geared towards tweens, but also appropriate for younger readers, explores surprisingly mature topics in a way that is still accessible and engaging for …

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Interview with Bear Boy author Justin Barker

Justin Barker is an American animal activist, producer, and author of Bear Boy: The True Story of a Boy, Two Bears, and the Fight to Be Free. He recently chatted with EcoLit Books about the experience of writing his animal rights memoir and his advice for young activists. You can read the EcoLit Books review …

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Book Review: Bear Boy by Justin Barker

In 1995, thirteen-year-old Justin Barker was begrudgingly browsing a used bookstore with his dad when he came across PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk’s Kids Can Save the Animals: 101 Easy Things to Do. Within days, young Justin learned about animal abuse on factory farms, went vegetarian, practiced his newfound phone advocacy skills, and started his own …

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Book Review: We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge’s stunning and unique novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman, begins as the story of a family that moves into the The Toneybee Institute for Ape Research to teach an abandoned young chimpanzee sign language—yet while the novel is very much about language, its focus veers from chimpanzees and delves into the institute’s dark …

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Growl: Life lessons from an animal advocate

Kim Stallwood has been on the forefront of the animal rights movement since the 1970s, giving him a unique perspective on where the movement has come from and where it is headed. In Growl, he shares his journey and insights learned along the way, from leadership of BUAV (now Cruelty Free Intl) in the UK …

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Book Review: The Elephant of Belfast

The Elephant of Belfast, S. Kirk Walsh’s debut novel, reimagines the extraordinary relationship between an Irish zookeeper and a young Asian elephant during the Second World War. Twenty-year-old Hettie Quin works part-time at Bellevue Zoo and Gardens and is angling hard for a promotion. She wants to become a full-time zookeeper—a position traditionally held by …

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Culture is Home: Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace

Guest book review by Gene Helfman. MacArthur Fellow Carl Safina established himself among the legion of environmental journalists with his first book, the award-winning Song for the Blue Ocean. In Song, he detailed the causes of and solutions to declining fish populations, especially those overharvested in commercial fisheries. In (also award-winning) Eye of the Albatross, he lamented the …

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Beyond The Human Realm

Beyond the Human Realm, A Novel by Gene Helfman (Luminare Press, July, 2021 Review by JoeAnn Hart             It’s not an easy feat to write in an animal POV without the voice seeming weird or childish, but Gene Helfman pulls it off. Do I want to read an entire novel in an orca POV? Probably not. …

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