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The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
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The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  2,895 Ratings  ·  428 Reviews
The poignant story of a girl who overcomes unique hardship and deprivation - growing up with a troop of capuchin monkeys - to find ultimate redemption.

In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Pegasus (first published January 1st 2013)
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(showing 1-30)
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Petra X
I don't believe that the author was raised by monkeys. I believe, as one of the articles I read suggested, that she lived near monkeys and got to know them very well and they were perhaps, her solace, during a traumatic childhood. I think that the author and her daughter believe she was raised by monkeys though. Between disbelief and execrable writing, I couldn't finish the book. I stuck it for 20 chapters and I've given in. There is an article that brings up the point of dissociation, written b ...more
Angela Oliver
Jul 25, 2013 Angela Oliver rated it it was amazing
Some might say that this book cannot possibly be true, some might look at the release date and wonder if something else is up. But truth be told or not, it doesn't matter - this was an utterly engrossing read. I devoured it in 24 hours, and found myself totally immersed. The writing style, at the beginning, is written in the manner of a child - not a child as young as Marina actually was, but with the same innocence and naive outlook on the world. Why the child was dropped in the forest, we shal ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
The sort of story that once started, I have to finish in nearly one sitting. A fascinating account of a woman whose childhood was spent in part among monkeys in the Colombian jungle (as a five-year-old, she was kidnapped, then abandoned in the jungle). Later, surrendering herself to a stranger, she is sold to become a slave-worker in a brothel but her wits, along with a kindly neighbor's warning, keep her from actually becoming a prostitute. Street life and more follow but Marina's wits, well-ho ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
There is much controversy as to whether this story is true or not. I don't know that it really matters. I'm sure it matters to the author and to Marina herself. Regardless, the messages and circumstances in the book itself are quite good. This book has made me look at things a little differently. Maybe a little less judgmental of those who are less fortunate. We don't know how people get where they do. It has made me think of family members who were abused and adopted into our family and maybe h ...more
May 28, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it
I bought this book because I love monkeys, and wanted to read this fascinating memoir about a Colombian child abducted and abandoned in a jungle, then taken in by a band of Capuchin monkeys. The writing is simple (Chapman's daughter interviewed her and they brought in a ghost writer to finish the work), but the story is riveting and revealing. While I was a tad disappointed that only about 1/4 of the book takes place in the jungle, the book does pick up when Chapman reenters society. She goes fr ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
This book is a memoir by Marina Chapman. When she was almost five she was kidnapped from her yard in Columbia and left deep in the forest to die. Well she did not die. A group of monkeys eventually allowed her into their family. For five years she went from being a human to behaving like her monkey family. learning how to climb trees and find food and shelter. She walked around on all fours and soon forgot her native language. She was found about five years later. Although these people got her o ...more
Aug 21, 2013 Orsolya rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, animals, memoir
Have you ever been asked if you were raised by monkeys during a particular miscreant childhood episode? Marina Chapman may be the only person who can answer with an affirmative. Chapman, along with daughter Vanessa James and co-writer/ghostwriter Lynn Barrett-Lee, opens up her childhood trauma of being kidnapped and dumped in a jungle in “The Girl with No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys”.

Chapman has a harrowing tale which sounds almost too far-fetched to be true: sh
Jul 17, 2013 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story. An incredible story. I'm not sure how I feel about this one.

The ghost-writer did a great job in spinning a provocative tale of a young Colombian girl who was kidnapped from her home, abandoned in the jungle, and left to fend for herself in the wilds. She was apparently befriended by a troupe of capuchin monkeys and lived among them for several years until her "human urges" induced her to re-connect with humans. She revealed herself to two humans (who turn out to be animal poachers
Barbara M
Nov 25, 2013 Barbara M rated it liked it
This was a highly unusual story about a young girl, about 5 years old, kidnapped in Columbia and deserted in the jungle. She lived among the monkeys imitating and befriending them in order to survive. After years of living among the monkeys, she is finally found by a human being who sells her into slavery. She lived as a slave and was beaten regularly. She escaped and lived as a "street kid" begging and stealing on the streets of Columbia. She moved from one bad environment to another throughout ...more
Jun 09, 2014 Monty rated it really liked it
This book was totally fascinating and I sometimes wondered if it were fiction or non-fiction (similar to the Mutant Message from Down Under). My guess is that it is true, though in any event it is truly a case of survival and of the range of human cruelty and kindness. Here is a link that summarizes the book and includes a video interview with the author. Personally, I recommend reading it.
Faith Spinks
Jul 29, 2014 Faith Spinks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spotted this book on my sister's bookshelf and thought it looked interesting. My sister had already read it and found it only so so. I, however, was fascinated from the start and was reluctant each time I had to put it down.

Marina's story is fascinating. Kidnapped at a young age from home and then dumped in the jungle she was adopted into a monkey family and spent years growing up amongst them. But this is by no means the limit to the challenges she has to overcome as she grows up. Throughout
May 28, 2014 Jean rated it really liked it
In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived is a miracle. Two days later, half-drugged, terrified, and starving, she came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. Acting entirely on instinct, she tried to do what they did: she ate what they ate and copied their actions, and little by little, learned to fend for herself.
Mar 25, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, true-life
The Girl With No Name - The Incredible Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys; Marina Chapman with Vanessa James and Lynne Barrett-Lee; Pegasus Books; 2013

“The Girl With No Name” is a powerful true story of a preschooler in Colombia who is cruelly kidnapped from her home and then tragically abandoned in the remote jungles of Colombia. Alone and afraid, the traumatized 5 year old girl gradually becomes one with a group of monkeys who basically help teach her, keep her alive and accept her into their
Mar 29, 2013 Ionia rated it really liked it
You can't read this book and not feel something for Marina. This essentially begins (after a short preface) with the kidnapping of a young girl who is abandoned and then forced to live on her own in the wilds of Columbia. For years, she goes undiscovered, relying on a group of monkeys to teach her to survive. She therefore learns to live in a rather uncivilised manner and has a very difficult time adapting to life when she is rescues and brought to live among people once more.

I can't imagine th
Don Priest
Apr 16, 2015 Don Priest rated it it was ok
An interesting story, but the part that drew me in was her time in the jungle, and that ends all too abruptly. After that, it's just not terribly interesting. Her time with the monkeys definitely molded her, but after a brief rough point, she doesn't seem to have any more trouble fitting in than any other orphan in Colombia at the time. The memoir also ends far too early, when she's only about 14. What about the rest of her teenage years? When and how did she meet her husband, what does she do w ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Kathleen rated it liked it
The nigh unbelievable memoir of a girl who escaped captivity in the Colombian rain forest as a five year old and spent the next few years of her life trying to mimic monkeys in an attempt to learn survival skills. She makes it very clear that these are wild animals, but she also makes it very clear that they helped her, welcomed her, and treated her as a strange member of their troop.

Maybe it says something about me that I find the later parts of the story where she is a thieving street kid mor
A remarkable memoir by Marina Chapman, written with the help of her daughter and a ghost writer. I read this in 2 days after watching the SBS documentary in which Marina was scientifically tested by a number of psychological and primate experts, leading to overwhelming evidence to back up her story. She was abandoned in the jungle when nearly 5 years old and attached herself to a troop of capuchin monkeys, possibly till about age 10; learning to feed herself by copying their eating habits, and a ...more
Jul 22, 2014 Angie added it
Loved it, wish it had been longer....
Dylan Law
Dec 19, 2013 Dylan Law rated it really liked it
Marina Chapman’s The Girl with No Name tells the story of Marina’s childhood in the treacherous Colombian jungle, where she is raised by monkeys, trying to survive. The book is set in the middle of a jungle after Marina is kidnapped and left there all by herself at the age of four, not knowing what to do or where she was. Marina tries to stay alive by copying the monkeys actions and eating what they ate, recalling a saying she learned, “monkey see, monkey do,” which kept her alive for about 6 y ...more
May 11, 2014 Crystal rated it really liked it
The book about a feral child that I've been waiting for. This account of a 6-year-old Colombian girl who is kidnapped from her home, dumped in the jungle, and left there for years was astonishing in its simple, vivid detail of the monkeys, birds, and other animals who become her surrogate family. She doesn't romanticize, she just tells what happened to her and how desperately lonely/afraid she was during much of that time.

I liked the details about what happens to her clothing, the state of her
Mary Anne
May 10, 2013 Mary Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2016 Alison rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating story of a young girl, four yrs old, who in the 1950's was abducted from her village in Columbia, (she does not know why) and taken by two men and left in the middle of a jungle. There she had to fend for herself and after a couple of days she encountered a group of monkeys and she remembered her mother saying "lo que hace el mono lo hace el mico" which would be the Spanish version of "Monkey see monkey do" and in this way she was able to see how to survive. She was eventu ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Liralen rated it liked it
One has to wonder how much easier she might have had it had she been older -- and also how much of her survival is attributable to her age. On the one hand, the older one is the more basic survival skills one is likely to have picked up; on the other hand, her age probably played a part in her willingness to mimic other creatures, and her small size probably made her less threatening to the monkeys.

There's so much more I wish I knew (much of which I suspect the author couldn't tell anyway), but
Lorenzo Lara
Jul 07, 2013 Lorenzo Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed mostly Marinas remembrances of her childhood in the jungle. After a hard and not so short period adapting to living with the monkeys, she recalls:
"I dont think I even thought in human language any more. So Id no longer consciously think up something as abstract as a name."
"My life had become all about sounds and emotions. And missions. All of life was now broken into missions. Missions to find food. Missions to find company. Missions to find a safe place to hide if there was a danger.
Apr 27, 2014 Roberta rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Not particularly well or interestingly written, this is nevertheless an interesting book. As events unfolded, I kept asking myself how the 5 year old child made sense of her experiences and where she got the reservoirs of strength that sustained her in the horrific years that followed her kidnapping.

At first I couldn't imagine how she ever settled into a modern English life but after reading the many adjustments she made, I was no longer surprised.

Worth reading for the story.
Tamara Arroba
Jan 20, 2016 Tamara Arroba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historia é interessante e de fácil leitura. Uma vez comecei o livro fiquei obcecada querendo termina-lo. É fascinante imaginar como essa menina sobreviveu por tanto tempo. As descrições são muito boas também. O final me deixou curiosa. Queria saber mais sobre o que lhe ocorreu, mas guardaram a informação para
fazer uma continuação. Não dei 5 estrelas porque acho que o livro poderia ter se aprofundado melhor em alguma partes.
Aug 02, 2013 Deb rated it liked it
Incredible and fascinating true story of a woman who was abandoned in the jungle in Colombia at the age of almost 5 and lived with the monkeys for several years before unfortunately seeking out human contact and finding it with an exploitive household. She becomes a street kid for a while, stays in a convent until its restrictions are too much and she goes back to the streets, and eventually finds her way. Story has a happy ending (not a spolier alert - you know from teh beginning).

I would almos
Okay, Intially I really enjoyed this story. The whole living in the jungle thing got my attention and I appreciated the details that answered the questions I might have. Like how does she go to the bathroom? Bathe? Etc.

(view spoiler)
Apr 08, 2015 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible story

Didn't realize when I started that this was a true story, a ghostwriter autobiography. It was quite astounding and I look forward to the sequel
Meg Dizzle
Oct 28, 2014 Meg Dizzle rated it it was amazing
Inspiring story of a gorl who faced so many challenges at every stage of life and came our strong. True survivor. Must read.
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Now married to an Englishman and living in Bradford, England, Marina Chapman plans to donate her share of the profits from this book to help finance charities that combat human trafficking and child slavery in Colombia.
More about Marina Chapman...

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“Family is not just about who you appear to belong to, or what it says on your birth certificate, or who you look like, or even what they’d find if they studied your DNA. Family is found anywhere you are loved and cared for. That might mean friends or foster parents, a group or even a charity. What matters far more — so much more than chemistry or ancestry — is that precious bond, that reassurance that they won’t let you down.” 4 likes
“I learned a valuable lesson that day. And an enduring one, too, because it resonates with me still. Family is not just about who you appear to belong to, or what it says on your birth certificate, or who you look like, or even what they’d find if they studied your DNA. Family is found anywhere you are loved and cared for. That might mean friends or foster parents, a group or even a charity. What matters far more — so much more than chemistry or ancestry — is that precious bond, that reassurance that they won’t let you down.” 1 likes
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