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Baboon - A Novel


A Novel

Interest Age: 10–14
Grade: 5–9
Reading Age: 10–14
Paperback : 9781554510535, 176 pages, February 2007 , 7.25" x 5.0"


Fourteen-year-old Gerry Copeland has mixed feelings about flying back to his parents’ research camp in the African savanna. While his biologist mom and dad study baboon behavior, he’ll be thinking about the video arcade and restaurants back in the city.

Suddenly, their small plane’s engine stutters and dies. They go down hard. Gerry wakes up thinking a baboon has broken his fall. He’s shocked to realize the furry arm is his own. Somehow, he’s become one of the beasts his parents are studying.

Gerry’s only chance is to stay with the baboon troop. His parents don’t recognize him and he begins to lose hope he’ll ever be human again. His final, desperate bid to turn back means giving up the animal family he’s come to care about for the human family where he truly belongs.

Baboon is the riveting story of one teenager’s journey into the heart of the baboon world, where he confronts terrifying attacks by predators and humans, threatening behavior within the troop, and the day-to-day struggle to survive. 


  • Joint winner, New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age 2007
  • Joint winner, Best Bets List, Ontario Library Association 2007
  • Commended, Sunburst Awards, Honorable Mention 2007


“Wild adventure gets a new twist . . . the thrilling facts of animal behavior will stay with readers.” 

- Booklist, 05/07

“Will appeal to readers who enjoy the science fiction genre, readers whose preference is animal stories and readers who like a fast-paced adventure. Students will learn an astonishing number of facts about baboons . . . sure to please. Highly Recommended.”

- CM Reviews, 04/07

“Readers craving adventure and nature-based drama will find this . . . engrossing.”

- School Library Journal, 06/07

“Full of rich detail and interesting information about baboons living in the wild.”

- Resource Links, 06/07

“Anyone who says kids’ lit isn’t full of sophisticated prose hasn’t read this book. Jones weaves a masterful and unique tale of survival . . . a superb storyteller.”

- Word of Mouse Book Reviews, 07/10