Ben did not want a new family member and he definitely did not want a chimp as his new brother. But with hotshot academic parents it doesn’t really matter what he wants. The family moves from Toronto to Victoria, Canada and adopts week-old Zan. Zan is raised like a human, diapers, high chairs and birthday parties. Zan is also taught sign language as part of a major research study to see if animals can learn human language .
While Project Zan is going on, Ben begins a project of his own. He’s ready to become the Alpha male at his new private school. Date the hottest girl (his best friend’s sister), get the grades and never back down from a fight. Ben also grows to love Zan and accepts him into the family. When Project Zan starts to lose funding and Ben’s family is threatened, he finds out just how far he’s willing to go to protect his little brother.
Half-Brother by Kenneth Oppel is the newest book from the author of Airborn and the Matt Cruise series and you know how much I love Matt Cruise. Ben and Zan are some of the funniest and human characters I’ve read in a while. Be prepared to have your notions of what it means to be human challenged and what it means to truly love someone.
What are your favorite animal stories? I’m also a sucker for anything written by James Herriot but this might be my new favorite.