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Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas
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Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas

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3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,632 Ratings  ·  442 Reviews
Jim Ottaviani returns with an action-packed account of the three greatestprimatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology—and to our own understanding of ourselves.

Tackling Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas
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Hardcover, 144 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by First Second
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First Second Books
Jun 11, 2013 First Second Books marked it as first-second-publications
One of the questions that we frequently get asked about this book is: is it nonfiction?

The answer is: it’s difficult to tell!

Primates is ostensibly a nonfiction biography about three different women who work with primates – Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas. It tells about their lives and their work, and the author and the illustrator both did a lot of research and endeavored to be as faithful as possible to the historical realities of their subjects.

So, why is it difficult to tell
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Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
So, my little sister was reading this and I picked it up last night because it looked cute and interesting––so then I went and read the whole thing, of course.

I already knew a bit about Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, but I don't think I'd ever heard of Biruté Galdikas. This book is a fascinating look into all of their lives and the fearless and groundbreaking work they did. I really loved the artwork, it's really adorable.

For the most part, I liked how it was written. However, there were a few c
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Jessica
Jul 22, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: gn
So many mixed feelings about this book.

I'll start with the good:
Yay! Women scientists! At times funny and fascinating. I learned things. I had no idea that Louis Leakey helped secure the funding for Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall and got them their starts in field research. I had never heard of Galdikas or her research with Orangutans. I learned about their significant findings that shook the scientific world: chimpanzees using tools and orangutans walking on the ground. The significance of thei
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Elizabeth A
Dec 28, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it really liked it
When I was in primary school, we had to read a book titled "Great Men and Women". Do I need to mention that Gandhi was the only person of color in the book? At least there were two women: Marie Curie and Florence Nightingale. I am glad that times have changed in that respect, and that young people can find books that are somewhat more representative today.

In my home the name Leakey was used as often as the name Kardashian seems to be used by the media today, so imagine my delight in learning th
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Karen
I so wanted to love this book! The artwork is fantastic, and the three scientists (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas) come across as individual personalities, each admirable, tough, and dedicated in her own way.

Unfortunately, as other reviewers have pointed out, there are some problems. My biggest beef is the parroted belief of Louis Leakey that women are better in the field because they're "more perceptive and more patient than men." It would be nice if there was anything here to c
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Wanda
When I put a hold on this book through my public library, I had no idea that it was a graphic novel meant for teenagers. All that registered for me was that it was a new book about my personal hero, Jane Goodall, as well as two other admired women, Dian Fossey and Birute Galikas.

It is a graphic novel, so it doesn't take long to read--maybe an hour or so. I would consider it to be a gentle introduction to the work done by three indomitable women for those who are unfamiliar with it.

I guess becaus
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Seth T.
May 01, 2013 Seth T. rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics

Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

When my daughter was two, we watched a lot of David Attenborough documentaries. Planet Earth especially. She named the polar bear trio in the first episode after her, her mother, and her infant brother—I, the papa bear, was at the office. One of our favourites though was an episode of The Life of Mammals that we found on Netflix called "Social Climbers." It's all about monkeys and it's amazing to watch. I know all kinds of animals are smart and use tools and surprise us constantly with their ing

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Amy Rae
The movie Gorillas in the Mist is one that will always be special to me--I remember watching it with my mother, who liked it a great deal. So I was excited from the start to read a book that included Dian Fossey's life, and for the most part, I wasn't disappointed.

This is a beautifully coloured graphic novel, with dot-eyed heroines that remind me a little of Tintin. (The roommate points out that the overall style is a little too complicated to be true ligne clair, but I think there's some inspir
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Janet
Jul 03, 2015 Janet rated it really liked it
My third graphic novel, very entertaining and informative. This is a book that never would have been on my radar had it not been a selection for Booktopia Petoskey 2015.
Now I want to read this author's earlier work, Feynman
I wracked my brain because I knew I had heard of Louis Leakey before. Was it in that wonderful fictional account of Margaret Mead called Euphoria?...no, hmmmm, or maybe that Hanya Yanagihara anthropological themed The People in the Trees??....nope, not that either....so I goog
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Claudia
I know of Goodall's work, and Fossey's. I know something about their research and temperments. But Galkikas? Nothing. Three women under the thrall of Louis Leakey...and held in great suspicion by Mrs. Leakey. They all were inspired to go study primates: chimps, gorillas, orangutans. In their native land. Leakey thought, sexist that he was (and philanderer??) that women were more suited for this kind of field work because they were more patient...and these three were, to an extent.

Goodall seems t
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Raina
Aug 27, 2015 Raina rated it really liked it
Sweet combo-bio piece about three women who really like watching animals. And not as evolution-focused as I expected.

As someone who's very interested in how various industries work, I loved the behind-the-scenes on HOW Jane Goodall got to the chimps. Apparently, there was this anthropologist who sent/funded these ladies to go watch monkeys - for years at a time.

I loved the way this portrayed the study of animals - many of us love to watch birds, or our pets, or animals at the zoo. And as long a
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Mickie
Jul 16, 2013 Mickie rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels
After LOVING Feynman my teens (boys aged 18/15) and I were really excited to find this book.

But we all were frustrated and confused by it.

The kids (who have little to no knowledge of these women) found the narrator switch confusing and were left with lots of questions that were never answered(what did Birute sit in that hurt her? Why did Jane hike naked? What was the point of the card test? What bridge is Birute referring to with Jane? What happened to Dian?). They also didn't "get" how what th
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Preeti
Jan 03, 2014 Preeti rated it really liked it
It's pretty sad (on my part) that I'd never heard of Biruté Galdikas before learning about this book. I'll have to correct that in the next year or so. Of course, I "know" Jane Goodall (love her) as well as Dian Fossey (I've seen Gorillas in the Mist and have the book on my to-read list).

This book is geared towards younger audiences, but because of the subject matter and the fact that it was a comic, I had to check it out. The art is beautiful - it's simple and cute, and some of the scenes are j
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Adan
Dec 16, 2015 Adan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good book about three remarkable scientists who studied apes around the world. I wish there had been a bit more science to complement the personal stories like in Ottaviani's other books. This could have easily been three longer books, one on each woman.
Vincent Desjardins
This slim graphic novel might serve as an introduction to the work of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas but it is really too short to do justice to the ground-breaking work these women accomplished. The book’s subtitle is “The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas,” but the book isn’t so much about the science as it is about the roads they took and the battles they fought to do their studies. On another note, I wasn’t crazy about the art. The human charact ...more
Erica
Jan 27, 2013 Erica rated it really liked it
** Reviewed for Netgalley.com, Electronic Advanced Reader copy provided through NetGalley by the publisher **
I loved this book! The three life stories of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas are told in one fascinating graphic novel. Each individual woman's story is told, how they each became interested and came to work with their respective primates. One figure, Louis Leaky, seemed to have played a role in all of their lives, the passion for their interest and work was recognized by t
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Anne
Nov 16, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
This was a wonderfully fun introduction into the lives of these three outstanding women. As several other people have mentioned, it's not technically a nonfiction biography but does contain the basic facts about these women and their incredible devotion to their science. It also has a very helpful appendix that lists websites, books and articles for further discovery.

For me, one of the most interesting things was the belief held by Dr. Leakey that women were more patient and more suited to the p
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Andy Shuping
Feb 25, 2013 Andy Shuping rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Little was understood about primates prior to 1950. While many researchers tried to understand and observe them they all failed and came back frustrated and dejected or with misinformation. And then....three women, Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas, all students of Louis Leaky, changed everything that we knew about primates and changed what we understood about ourselves. This book weaves a story and introduces the reader to the woman and their work...and leaves us wanting more.

For m
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Dan
Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas offers the readers a beautiful introduction to three amazing scientist who changed the way we look at primatology, conservation, and the very woozy line between the human animal divide. Jim Ottaviani does an outstanding job of tying the narrative arc of the story through anthropologist Louis Leakey, who helped all three women get into their fields of expertise. Maris Wick's artwork is phenomenally vibrant throughout ...more
Renata
Jan 06, 2016 Renata rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this! The art is very cute and it really shows how tough and smart these 3 women were in their pursuits of science.

The end casually and vaguely mention's how Dian Fossey's death was a tragedy so I looked her up later and apparently she was MURDERED? The panel shows her writing "Digit Digit Digit" (the name of a gorilla she loved, who was killed by poachers) in a notebook with a shaky hand and so I thought maybe she had a stroke or something? but she was MURDERED WITH A MACHETE.
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Elizabeth
Captivating introduction and ode into the lives of three rock-stars of the primatology world. Their tireless patience and skills of observation helped bring an awareness to the plight of mountain gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees. LOVED.

David Schaafsma
Jun 02, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
I hadn't liked T MInus, I had liked his Feynman (though didn't like Feynman himself as depicted in the book), shut when Primates showed up I didn't think I would read it… but this story is great, maybe especially for girls, and is maybe an encouragement for girls to get involved in science, animals, wildlife study and ecology. It's the story of three women who became famous for working with, living with, developing close relationships with, and researching primates: Jane Goodall with chimpanzees ...more
Raeann
Jan 19, 2016 Raeann rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, 2016
This book was a great introduction to these three women. I would have preferred to see the disclaimer about certain bits being fictionalized at the beginning rather than at the end, but I suppose that's not necessary. Jane Goodall's story is pretty well-known, at least among the people I know, but I didn't know anything about Dian Fossey or Birute Galdikas. It was nice to see all three of them put right up next to each other, showing the similarities and differences in their journeys and approac ...more
Amanda
Nov 16, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
An informative and interesting read about three pioneers in primates research and conservation. Highly recommended for grades 4 and up studying primates, wildlife conservation and fans of all things animal.
Naomi
Feb 17, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it
The art is charming and the writing is, too. I'd have loved a little more in-depth look at what it meant to be a white woman setting up camp in primarily non-white places--it touches on Fossey's tactlessness, but doesn't examine other angles. I had no idea who Louis Leakey was, or that he connected these three scientists. I wish the book had also been a little more explicit about his sexism instead of just regurgitating it.
Erica Parker
Aug 14, 2015 Erica Parker rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anthropologists, scientists, preteens, girls, women, animal lovers, boys, everyone
I don't think people read this too carefully.
Sure, there's not an incredible amount of information, it is a graphic novel, not a biography, nor an autobiography. But, if you look in the back, it has a bibliography, if you want to learn more about these women, you have all the books you need to learn more!

The narration, yeah, that confused me. When in doubt, read it again.

Lots of loose ends, but, if you had all the information right in this book, would you go to learn more about these amazing wom
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Kitsch
Sep 15, 2015 Kitsch rated it liked it
This book is an interesting surface level look into the experiences of three women scientists - Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas - who made significant contributions in the study of various primates in the field.

It's a quick and easy read, though the perspective shifts are confusing at times. I initially thought certain quotes were taken directly from the journals of the three women but the afterword stresses that "some of what you just read is fiction," which I find to be frustrat
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Linda
Oct 23, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
Recommended to Linda by: Booktopia Petoskey 2015 author
Brief easily read graphic nonfiction representing three women who studied primates in Africa under Dr. Richard Leakey. I knew about Jane Goodall, the murder of Dian Fossey, but never heard of Biruté Galdikas. Once again proof that graphic books just aren't for kids.
Debbie Lewis
Aug 13, 2013 Debbie Lewis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic
I absolutely *loved* this book. As a scientist nerd, reading about all three of these amazing women in one place was nirvana. My only concern is that being cataloged as YA non-fiction will spell doom for this fascinating work.
Moushumi Ghosh
Sep 25, 2014 Moushumi Ghosh rated it it was amazing
Three brilliant lives in one brilliant book. And the fact that it borders on fiction and is a graphic novel makes it all the more better. If you wanted to know the lives of people who study animals in the wild, this is it. These three women chose to study three primates about whom we knew next to nothing. We also come to know of the man who chose them - Louis Leakey. (Wouldn't his life make a fantastic graphic novel as well?) All of them came from vastly different fields. (Does that mean I have ...more
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Sno-Isle Teen Boo...: Primates 1 1 Nov 05, 2013 01:52PM  
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I've worked in news agencies and golf courses in the Chicagoland area, nuclear reactors in the U.S. and Japan, and libraries in Michigan. I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists. When I'm not doing those things, I'm spraining my ankles and flattening my feet by running on trails. Or I'm reading. I read a lot.
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