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My Life with the Chimpanzees

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,906 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Inspired by a stuffed toy, Jane Goodall became the first woman to study chips in the wild and in the process made history.

As a child, Jane Goodall was given a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee, and she has said her fondness for this figure started her early love of animals. While others thought Jane would be terrified by the toy, she adored it and it inspired a life-long lo
Paperback, 156 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Aladdin (first published March 1st 1988)
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 ·  1,906 ratings  ·  198 reviews

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Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great read because it let you into the wonderful world of Chimpanzees! It was interesting to learn so many things about chimps throughout the book and to hear about Jane's adventures. Before reading this book I knew that Chimpanzees were very similar to humans, but I didn't know very much. I also didn't know much about Jane. Now I know so much about both. I think that it is amazing how Jane had a love for animals her whole life and how she was dedicated to her work. It is also am ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This book is geared to children. In addition to the biographical information there are lessons about conservation, pets, ethical treatment of animals etc. The audiobook is full of sound effects. Children might like this, but I did not.
Anand Ganapathy
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ourlibrary
Wonderful book by one of the foremost primate researchers and conservationists. Jane Goodall has been working with chimpanzees at Gombe forest reserve, Tanzania since 1960 and this book traces her entire journey. Had wanted to read her works ever since I read an excerpt of one in the book section of reader's digest many years ago. highly recommended for all animal lovers ...more
Ashley Knights
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I chose this as my Book 1 of Popsugar's 2017 Reading Challenge (, "a book written by someone you admire." This was a short, easy read by Jane Goodall about her work in Africa. And now I'm wishing all over again that I had a more interesting and adventurous career. ...more
Henrik Haapala
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, biography
”What about my dream of Africa? Had I forgotten it? Absolutely not. I spent hours wandering about in the natural history museum. I continued reading books about animals, especially African animals. And while I loved my job I knew that it was just filling in time. Always I was waiting for my lucky break. When that lucky beak finally came, I was ready.”

“We talked about my future. Louis never minded if his scientific staff had higher degrees or not: The important thing, as far as he was concerned,
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this especially because I could hear Jane's gentle voice after having watched her on television. People like Jane who share their knowledge and experience of the wild world are a treasure. Her accounts about the daily routines of the animals gave me an appreciation of how the chimps survive and interact socially which is the subtle stuff that we don't see in zoos or on sensationalized nature television programming. ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This ended up being an audiobook - actually narrated by Jane Goodall!! - and despite my library's shelving it as "adult, non-fiction" it was a book geared at children.

I loved it anyway.

It's the sort of book I wish I had discovered when I was about ten.

She never talks down to her audience and her passion for animals - all animals - and the environment was simply infectious. And as if I couldn't like Goodall any more than I already do, she - like me - detests ironing.
Jane Goodall is magic. This book was a treasure from start to finish. She speaks right to her young readers without talking down to them. She uses this book to accomplish two things 1) to explain to her fans and young readers why and how she went into her work with chimpanzees. How her passion and strengths as a child and teen funneled into her making goals for herself on which she never gave up. She simply worked for the right kind of opportunities and jumped at chances to do what she wanted ev ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very impressive book! I loved it...Excerpt from a book:
"July 16, 1960 was a day I shall remember all my life. It was first time set foot on the chimpanzee land in Gombe National Park. It was the handsome male with the dense white beard. I had already named him David Greybeard. He was first one who visited the camp. When I met him in forest, he would come up to see if I had a banana hidden in my pocket. It was David Greybeard who amazed me when he used objects as tools for fishing termites. He ha
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"My Life with the Chimpanzees" is about animal specialist Jane Goodall embarking on dangerous trips into Africa studying and learning more about chimpanzees. Jane Goodall tells how her small fascination as a child became a long life career. She longed her whole life to live with the chimpanzees. Information on the chimps, funny stories, and scary stories are all included in this biography. ...more
Sheri Gauld
Her life, in her own words, Jane Goodall truly is an inspiration to all! If you or your child loves animals, this is the most amazing book that walks you through Jane's life as she observes the behaviour of animals and eventually chimps. She shows how anyone can make a difference in the world and that we have to at least try when we see that something isn't right. ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this as an audiobook with Jane herself as the narrator. I think the book is geared more towards children but I still loved hearing her story in her own voice. She is such an inspiration and offers hope for the future of the earth’s animals and communities all over the world. She is an amazing woman....
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Synopsis: The book, My life with the Chimpanzees, by Jane Goodall is about how a young girls dream turned into reality. The book starts out with how she got interested in the study of animal behavior. She relates it to her childhood. She talks about how she was the leader of the alligator club. Most of her activities that she did as a kid, (hiking, snail racing, reading books about animals) drove her to the career path that she dreamed about. I find it important for young readers to pay attentio ...more
Kam Yung Soh
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating autobiography by Goodall about, yes, her life with the chimpanzees. It is elegantly told, using a vocabulary and simple writing style that should be suitable even for children to read. For, as the conclusion of the book shows, it is up to the youth of the world to protect the environment and to heal as much of it as they can.

The book can be divided into three main parts. The first part is the story of Goodall as she grows up, fascinated by nature and already performing the kind of
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audible version of this book, narrated by Jane Goodall herself, and I loved it so much. Jane goes into detail about her early life, how she always desired to work with wild animals in some way, finally obtaining her dream job, and some of her adventures during this time. Listening to her talk about these experiences was really amazing.
Towards the end of her book, Jane begins discussing various environmental and ethical issues that we are facing in today's society and gives us a
It's really neat to hear Dr. Goodall tell her story, but the tons of sound effects got old—I liked hearing the chimp calls, but didn't need the human-made sounds. This is aimed at youth (probably the reason for the extra sound effects) but I liked it too.

Listening to Dr. Goodall reminded me of documentaries about her that I watched when I was younger. I think I want to look up some documentaries about her to watch. This was a great taste of what I enjoyed in those, but it is just a taste. Still,
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a great introduction to Jane Goodell's life and ethologist work with animal conservation for kids. I didn't really know it was the kid book memoir at first, though the fact that my kindle claimed it would only take me an hour and 20 minutes to read should have tipped me off pretty early on. still, it was interesting, easy to read, and had fun pictures. there are some parts kids are going to care less about - specifically her marriages - But I wished there had been a little more info on t ...more
Leslie Ann
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Goodall wonderfully relates how she fulfilled her dream of studying animals (but there's no story of Jubilee!) and describes some fascinating discoveries. Her chimps come alive as characters. I did not appreciate how preachy the final chapters were, but she is definitely inspiring. ...more
Jan 31, 2020 marked it as not-for-me
Shelves: kids
I am trying to sort through Goodall's books--this one is basically for kids, so not for me. ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Jane is just a rose among thorns in this world.
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Hamlet
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A quick simple read that could easily educate a range of ages. Not only does it focus on the following and understanding of chimpanzees but it also links to all animals and our planet
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
Brilliant book which left my eyes brimming with tears. Beautiful recount of jane goodalls relationship with chimpanzees and indeed humanities relationship with animals and our shared environment. A call to action to care more and to do more.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 This book is truly amazing and inspirational, however, I wanted to hear more stories about the individual chimpanzees! Learning about the distinct personalities of all the animals was captivating and, by far, my favorite part of the book.
"A Dream Come True

"From the time she was a girl, Jane Gooddall dreamed of a life spent working with animals. Finally she had her wish. When she was twenty-six years old, she ventured into the forests of Africa to observe chimpanzees in the wild. On her expeditions she braved the dangers of the jungle and survived encounters with leopards and lions in the African bush. And she got to know an amazing group of wild chimpanzees -- intelligent animals whose lives, in work and play and family relation
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
"My Life with the Chimpanzees" is about animal specialist Jane Goodall embarking on dangerous trips into Africa studying and learning more about chimpanzees. Jane Goodall tells how her small fascination as a child became a long life career. Information on the chimps, funny stories, and scary stories are all included in this biography. Jane Goodall is one of the most highly regarded people in the world when it comes to wildlife. The main characters in the book are Jane, her son, and her second h ...more
Wonderful telling of Jane's life in Africa and the courage she needed to do it, the love she had for the animals, the reasons to do fieldwork. I'm so glad I picked this book up at the Bookery. I think it really gave iris a lot to think about.


iris loves this book. She asks to read it every night and has memorized all the chimps names and pictures. She even told her teacher that a picture of two chimps in a magazine was of Flo and baby Flint because she recognized it from our book. How cool i
Marina Branch
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved My Life With The Chimpanzees. Jane Goodall did a great job showing what her life was like before she grew an interest in chimps. Yet, she still had a fascination for animals her whole life, which I had never known. There were so many things I never knew about Jane that I learned from this book, and so many things about chimps I learned from this book. To be honest, I didn’t really feel too excited about the book when I first looked at it, but then I began reading it. I looked forward to ...more
Thank you to, the author and publisher for the audio advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own. I enjoyed this one - I do think it could have gone in depth a little more at times, as I was left wondering about her family and friends a bit sometimes. It was a nice look at her life, and was in fact read by Ms. Goodall. Always a nice touch in biographical audio.
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could conjure up a kindly auntie, to sit at her knee and listen to her stories and brush her static-crackling silver hair at night, Jane Goodall would be it. Her story is compelling, told in her fairy-godmother voice that I could listen to forever.
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For the Australian academic and mystery writer, see Professor Jane R. Goodall.

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace is a world-renowned ethologist and activist inspiring greater understanding and action on behalf of the natural world every single day.

Dr. Goodall is best known for groundbreaking studies of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Pa

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