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The Lion Who Stole My Arm
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The Lion Who Stole My Arm

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Zoologist Nicola Davies presents an illustrated novel for young readers that proves you don’t need two arms to be strong.

Pedru has always wanted to be a great hunter like his father, but after a lion takes his arm, he worries that he’ll always be the crippled boy instead. Pedru longs to kill the lion that mauled him and strengthens himself to be ready for the hunt. But whe
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Candlewick Press (first published March 1st 2013)
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Susan Morris
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Good book with lots of adventure & look at how lion researchers can help villagers learn to avoid lion attacks. (Library)
While I liked the way the author handled a complex issue--the coexistence of lions with humans as humans continue to encroach on their habitat--I felt as though the story could have been set just about anywhere. The author could have evoked a stronger sense of place with more description of the land even while building sympathy for Pedru and empathy for the lions. Readers will find it easy to understand his desire to kill the lion that took his arm but also find it possible to relate to the youn ...more
Mary Lee
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Perhaps my next read aloud. My 5th graders want books that challenge their thinking, books that aren't "light" and "easy." There will be lots to talk about with this one -- loss, revenge, characters who change.
Edward Sullivan
A boy named Perdu does indeed lose an arm to a lion that mauls him in a chance encounter. A good but somewhat cluttered story about having a strong spirit, adapting to disability, the life cycles of the African bush, and how science is helping man and animal learn to live more peacefully together.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read but it was inspiring and makes you want to keep reading. I liked it because it was interesting read about a different culture,
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What I liked best about this short novel was the message that wild animals and people could live together in Africa if people understood more about their wild neighbors. Young Pedru loses his arm to a lion, and thinks of nothing but revenge, which means killing it. But when he meets a group of scientists who are studying and trying to conserve the lions, his view slowly begins to change. But can he over come his need for revenge when he and his father finally do encounter the lion that took his ...more
Judy Desetti
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-3-4-5, gr-4-5-6, 2018
Very short fast read. I think kids will like this story about a young boy who is out too late and is attacked by a lion and loses one of his arms. The boy, Perdu, learns about lion research and how lions affect his village by bringing in tourists. He went from thinking lions should be killed to learning how to protect them.
Maggie Herskowitz
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so so so much l cried my eyes out like a nerd.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting narrative with a thought-provoking insight to wildlife conservation.
Lynn Plourde
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very short novel that would make a good read aloud and lead to a discussion on humans encroaching on nature.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: class-book
Katie Fitzgerald
Pedru, a young boy living in an African village, is devastated when he loses his arm to a lion attack. He worries that with only one arm he will never be a great hunter like his father. When a lion is spotted lingering near the outskirts of his village, Pedru is eager to accompany his father on the hunt to find and kill the beast. When he meets a group of zoologists, however, they convince him that there might be a non-violent resolution to the problems between the villagers and the lions.

When A
Ms. Yingling
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Pedru has a happy life in his village, but when he is coming home with his friends one night, they are out after dark, and Pedru is attacked by a lion. He loses his arm, but luckily, not his life. His father is the best hunter in the village, and points out that even though Pedru no longer has two arms, he still has the powers of observation that a good hunter needs. Pedru is determined to find the lion who attacked him, and when another villager is killed, Pedru and his father go hunting. They ...more
Sunday Cummins
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are so many of aspects of this book to like. The compassion I felt for the young Pedru who lost his arm to a lion. The compassion that grew as I learned more about the tragic situation of the lions. The pride I felt in Pedru as he realizes the complexity of the situation and makes a brave choice. All of this - I felt because of Davies' writing - clear, cohesive, appropriate for a transitional to fluent stage reader (2nd-3rd-4th grades). Also, through the narrative, the reader gains factual ...more
Carol Kennedy
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tristate-reviews
This story centers on Pedru, a young South African boy whose village is being threatened by lions. Pedru actually loses his arm to a lion and vows revenge. In the course of the story, however, he encounters a team of researchers who are studying lions and teaching villagers how to protect themselves from the lions without killing them. He changes his mind completely about his relationship with the beasts, and becomes a PhD candidate who studies lions himself.
The writing is sublime and the illus
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The title gives part of the story away, so the reader is waiting for the encounter with the lion. The short book with the photo of the lion on the cover will draw attention to the book. I expect many readers will enjoy this one!
Gritty details will also attract readers, I wonder if it could be read aloud in grade 2 as part of their continent studies. The bittersweet ending satisfies, and helps youngsters to realize that events can be part good, and part bad, and may help then deal with crises in
Matthew Marc
"The Lion Who Stole My Arm"by Nicola Davies is a very interesting book which is based on a true event. It is shocking and surprises you when you least except it. It was also a little bit educational because it showed how people track lions and what they do when it harms someone.

Pedro is a boy living in an African village. He and his two friends when fishing and when they came back Pedro went to check a snare he set up earlier. On his way to check the snare be encountered a lion. They fought unti
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Nicola Davies, children's author and zoologist is a wonderful children's author. She writes non-fiction text with beautiful figurative language. She is able to showcase how non-fiction text can be every bit as beautiful as fiction writing. Nicola recently visited classrooms in Massachusetts. After the first chapter every child was hooked. Children had to put their names on a list to take the book out of the library. I am a children's literature enthusiast and reading specialist. My favorite new ...more
Kate Hastings
Grades 4-6. An African village is terrorized by the lions that follow bush pigs into their farm land. Every year it seems someone is killed or injured. A young boy named Pedru puts up a fight when a young lion attacks him, but he loses his arm. As Pedru learns to write and hunt and live with only his left arm, he seeks revenge.

What he doesn't expect is the collar he finds on a dead lioness. A research post and a couple of scientists show him how lions can be tracked and how to find the lion resp
Mississippi Library Commission
Pedru's life is similar to those of the other boys in his village: he fishes, he hunts, he rides to school with his friends on their bike, he plays soccer, he worries about being home on time so his Mom won't get mad at him. This could be set in Mississippi! Pedru, however, lives in eastern Africa, where lions still roam free. One day his existence is turned upside down, and that's when this remarkable little chapter book by Nicola Davies really takes flight. Learning to cope with the loss of hi ...more
Donna Siebold
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pedru wants to grow up to be a great hunter like his father. But one day on his way home from a fishing trip with his friends he is attacked by a young lion. In his struggle to escape death Pedru loses his arm. He is afraid he will be treated like a cripple by his friends and fellow villagers.

His father shows him how you can be physically strong and accomplish much with just one arm. And, Pedru learns that strength is not always just physical.

Nicola Davies is a zoologist who delivers not just
Monica Edinger
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Well intentioned. I'm very much a fan of helping children far from Africa who love the continent's more famous fauna get a more rounded sense of the realness of their lives, including those of the people who live around them. I appreciate the author's skill at presenting the actions of the lion (taking Pedru's arm and killing another villager) in a disturbing, but not horrific manner, appropriate for the intended audience. Pedru's relationships, for example, are all loving and kind and even as h ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pedru survives a lion attack near his home village in Africa (the country is not specified), but loses his arm. He wants nothing more than to kill the lion in revenge. After an attack on another villager, he and his father hunt and kill a lion, only to learn it is not the same one. Since the lion they killed was wearing a tracking collar, they return it to the wildlife station. There, Pedru begins to see the lion's larger role in his world. This book will make for some interesting discussion abo ...more
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A simple tale in simple language with decent illustrations. I think it would go nicely with A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story, Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya.
Lisa Newhouse
Aug 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
I had a number of issues with this book. I thought overall it was well written and the story was interesting, however, I don't think it would really be second or third grade level appropriate.. The story tries to put across the message about how important it is to live in harmony with the animals around us rather than destroying them. I don't know that these younger grades would have completely understood the message. At times the book felt preachy about it and at other times felt like it was ov ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pedru, a young boy living in Mozambique, loses his arm to a lion attack. More than anything, he wants revenge on the lion that mauled him. There is a nice balance in the story between the researchers who want to study the lions and the people in Pedru’s village who need to kill the lions to protect themselves. This is an easy read (we have it as Easy Fiction) but there is a lot to think about and discuss! There are also really nice drawings throughout the text, which really help ground a story s ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiddie-lit
I hope this book achieves its goal of educating people (especially children) about lions. While Pedru initially thinks only of killing the lion who tore off his arm, he later comes to view them as animals without murderous intent, and becomes interested in researching them. It's a great way to show how a person challenges their beliefs, and also what researchers do and how they do it. I liked that the research team was included and that a glimpse of how one lion changed Pedru's life was shown in ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story, set in Africa, is about Pedru, a young boy who loses his arm to a lion. He does not want to be the boy without an arm who can't do anything, so he builds up his strength and vows revenge on the lion. When he meets some scientists who want to help save lions, he learns a few things about lions and about himself.
This is a quick story to read and it has black-and-white illustrations that help break up the text. It should appeal to reluctant and struggling readers who are hopefully draw
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine, Jeannie
Inspired by the Niassa Carnivore Project in Mozambique, zoologist Nicola Davies wrote the tale of young Pedru losing his arm during a lion attack. This short informative eco-adventure story portrays Pedru as a resilient boy who survives the loss of his arm in a brutal lion attack, and eventually helps endangered lions with the Lion Research Unit in Madune. The afterwards effectively describes the Niassa Carnivore Project and ways readers can help endangered lions. This short book fascinating tit ...more
Laura Phelps
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2014
When Pedru is attacked by a lion who wanders near his village, his first thought is of revenge. His father is the best hunter in their village and he wants to be like him… but how can he hunt with only one arm? I love the way Davies took a very complicated issue (wildlife and humans encroaching on each others space) and made it accessible and real; Pedru is a sympathetic character and the choices he makes are thought provoking.
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