Ben is introduced to Zan when he is 8 days old. Zan is his new baby brother. At first Ben is resistant to loving Zan, but that changes as he gets to know him. Ben loves Zan more than anything in the world. He would do anything for him. But others, including his father, don't understand why he has such an attachment to Zan. Yes, Zan is his brother, but Zan is also a chimp. A chimp who Ben's father is researching by conducting an experiment to s...more
Ben Tomlin, a thirteen year old boy, moves to a new home in Victoria where an unexpected birthday present awaits him. His scientist parents are pursuing a new research project that requires them to live with a chimpanzee. They are trying to prove that chimpanzees, like humans, are capable of communicating through American Sign Language. In order to collect the best results, Ben’s parents want to treat the chimp as a human and in...more
In this book a 13-year old boy Ben Tomlin is an only child in a family of scientists. His father moved them to Tornto away from all of his friends to start a project, which enevolves teaching a baby chimpanzee the American Sign Language (ASL).To start off the project, Ben's family gets to have a baby chimp in the house so they can raise it as a human baby. While starting school at his new hone, Ben meets a girl his age named JEnnifer Godwin, and imm...more
Anyways. To the point now. I didn't actually like this one. Usually Oppel's books are very engaging and interesting, but this one, I felt, never went any...more
The story was nice and unique and kept me engaged in what was going on. I have two criticisms for the book and the first is there were some uncomfortable sexual references for being a young adult book. This story is based upon a 14-year-old boy and yet he was having the sexual exper...more
Half Brother by Kenneth Opel is in the genre realistic fiction because it has happened in real life where someone has taken a baby chimp into thier house for an experiment. Although it probably wasn't as intresting and descriptive as Kenneth Opel's take on it.
Half Brother is about a family, Ben the son and his parents Richard and Sarah. The Tomlin's have to move from Toronto, ON to Victoria, ON because of a new science experiment they were doing about cross fostering a monkey as...more
When 13-year-old Ben and his scientist parents leave their home in Toronto to move to Victoria, British Columbia for his father’s important research project, Ben resigns himself to starting at a new school and making new friends. Typically, his father doesn’t seem interested in how Ben feels about any of this, all he can think about is his latest experiment in which he will study the possibility of teaching a chimpanzee sign language. As if the move isn’t enough to deal wi...more
At the heart of the novel is the question of what it means to be human -- or animal. Can a chimp be equal to a human? How should humans treat animals? What's right? What's...more
Spoiler: A renowned linguist determines that Zan is only learning words and not "language." and the experiment ends. Then Zan is sold. When they learn...more
If the story were just about Zan it would be compelling enough. But to add Ben is to make us see clearly what different people think it means to be human, to be intelligent, to be worthy. One thing - the book is not subtle. Otoh, it's accessible, complex, provocative and exciting. It would be good discussion fodder for a high school class or adult book club.
Zan soon wins Ben over and the boy becomes the chimp's champion. Ben's relationship with his father starts off rocky and remains so for most of the book, as is most relationships between a 13...more
Ben Tomlin's father moved the family to British Columbia for that very reason. Nobody had asked Ben, his Dad had accepted the new job before he told Ben anything about the move.
It was 1973. Richard Tomlin was a behavioral scientist interested in whether humans were the only animals capable of learning language. He wanted to find out if chimpanzees could learn American Sign Language. So he accepted a position at a university half wa...more
My biggest complaint with this book is that animal research is d...more
The book as it stands has at least one significant flaw: I searched in vain for any foreword, afterword,...more
It's the story of a young man, the son of scientists, who gets inextricably involved with his parents' experiment around teaching a baby chimp ASL while raising him as a human, or as near enough to a human as to make no difference. It's also the story of a young man falling in love for the first time, and adjusting to school, and dealing with a wel...more
There are many reasons why I loved this book: the science is interesting, the sto...more