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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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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,877 ratings  ·  316 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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Jessica
Jul 22, 2013 Jessica rated it 2 of 5 stars
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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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 Hahne

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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Mickie
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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Erica
** 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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Preeti
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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Anne
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
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
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
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
Debbie
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
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
Julia
This graphic novel is about the three primatologists sponsored by Louis Leakey. This is Jane Goodall’s, Dian Fossey’s and Birute Galdikas’ origin stories, as though they were superheroes, and in all the ways that count, they are. (Galdikas, who I hadn’t heard of, studies orangutans in Borneo.) Dian Fossey’s prickliness is depicted, as is Jane Goodall’s present work to improve conditions for chimpanzees in laboratories.

I borrowed from this interlibrary loan, but not because I knew about the book
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Erin Reilly-Sanders
I really enjoyed this graphic novel- it's bright (both in the images and in the concept and layout) and engaging about a rather interesting subject. While I enjoyed the simplicity of the linework and the cartoon-like images, it should be noted that this graphic novel has a text heavy focus, using both textual "field notes" and "voice overs" (that are conveniently font-coded and color coded to distinguish speakers )to describe much of the information rather than the pictures. I thought the set up ...more
Richie Partington
Richie's Picks: PRIMATES: THE FEARLESS SCIENCE OF JANE GOODALL, DIAN FOSSEY, AND BIRUTÉ GOLDIKAS by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks, ill., First Second, June 2013, 144p., ISBN: 978-1-59643-865-1

"I suppose you think gorillas can't understand you. Of course, you also probably think we can't walk upright.
"Try knuckle walking for an hour. You tell me: Which way is more fun?"
-- from THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate

"Of course, it turns out that much of what we scientists 'discover' is well k
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Joan
Jan 01, 2014 Joan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: future scientists, animal lovers, history of women readers
Recommended to Joan by: professional library reviews
This was a superb read! I am not an enthusiast for graphic novels but occasionally one comes along that shows me the strengths of the genre. This one used the illustrations to show teens (and grownups) what the three groups of primates looked like. Why not use photos? This shows the emotional connection between the scientist and the primate being studied in a way that would have been hard to do with photos since you can't go back in time and take photos of what turns out to be significant events ...more
Tasha
Explore three of the greatest primatologists of the 20th century in this graphic novel. The book begins with the story of Jane Goodall and how she was recruited by the famous anthropologist Lous Leakey to research chimpanzees. It shows how she first learned to quietly watch the chimpanzees and be accepted by them as well as her own personal life as she lived in the jungle. When Dian Fossey is then recruited by Leakey, the story turns to her life and her very different personality as she research ...more
Jennifer Haight
This is a lushly illustrated and creatively told tale of three women who changed the studies of Primates and biology in general with their innovative and immersive approaches to research. The book is sectioned into 4 sections and an epilogue.

I found it fascinating that while the scientists were dedicating their lives to observe things that had never been recorded before - much of what was discovered was already well known by local inhabitants.

The voice of each scientist is markedly different fro
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Wandering Librarians
The true stories of three scientists who changed the way we think about primates forever. Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas were all recruited by anthropologist Louis Leakey and set out, with little to no training or background, on field research that would result in discoveries that advanced our understanding of the link between humans and primates.

Another triumph from First Second! Seriously, can they do anything wrong? I don't think I've read anything from First Second that I have
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jess
I liked that this is a book about three lady scientists who all studied primates around the same time, so you can see how their personalities, different political climates, and the different lifestyles of different primates affected their life experiences. it's based on their true lives and stories and sticks fairly close to reality as i understand it, although somethings like Birute's health problems and Dian's death are glossed over enough (for children's eyes?) as to be vague and confusing to ...more
Christina
What a cool book! A graphic novel treatment of the lives of three important women who researched and studied and lived with primates: Jane Goodall (chimpanzees), Dian Fossey (gorillas), and Birute Galdikas (orangutans). Ihe illustrations are in color, very stylized, strong black lines, comic-book style, just adorable, with humorous faces and lots of detail. Although technically this biography isn't all nonfiction because the dialogue is fictionalized, and some timelines are compressed, the autho ...more
Shweta
Everything about this book screams winner. The cover design, the book spine, the amazing artwork and the storytelling. The three women who changed the human understanding of primate behavior Jane Godall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas are brought to a wider audience through this graphic novel. It isn’t a biography by any measure and Jim Ottaviani says so at the end of the book. It is an introduction to their life and work. Something that’ll make you seek more information. Appetizer of sorts in ...more
Sarah
Ottaviani once again presents accessibly the life of scientists. Primates focuses on the interconnected professional lives of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas, preeminent primatologists all. That these scientists are all women is not an accident - Louis Leaky, who served as mentor, advocate and "fixer" for all three, believed that women were more naturally suited to studying primates than men.

These biographical sketches (and they are sketches, though notes and a bibliography provi
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Becky
I enjoyed this book, but I am not sure that I will buy it for my 5th grade classroom. The book introduces three primatologists - Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall and Biruté Galdikas - and their work with their respective primates. It also introduces Louis Leakey, who was the one to get each of these women started doing the science that they did.

Although each story is told chronologically (except where the story of Louis Leakey's childhood interrupts the story of Jane Goodall), and this is good, but th
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Lindsay
Such a beautiful and playful graphic novel! I love love LOVED Maris Wicks' illustrations and Jim Ottaviani's ability to tell three distinct but intertwined stories (he did a fabulous job with Feynman...I'm really going to have to read more of his work). I was obsessed with Dian Fossey in middle school, only recently learned more about Jane Goodall a few years ago (spurred by the seeming glut of awesome picture books on her life published a couple years back), and only had a vague knowledge of Bi ...more
Audrey Maran
Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey,and Birute Galdikas was a short, but informative biography of three amazing women who studied primates. I don't think this book was meant to give detailed accounts of their studies, but to give the reader highlights of each woman's career and encourage you to learn more about what they found and the novel way that they did so. If that is true, the author certainly achieved his goal. I want to learn more about all these women. Dian Fosse ...more
Karyn Silverman
I know people love this, but I thought it was thin -- too much not in the page, hard to follow, and ultimately unsatisfying. As an intro, it doesn't establish enough, but if you already have some knowledge, it's redundant and shallow.
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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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