Wild Life: Childhood of Baboons + Giveaway

Keena Roberts split her adolescence between the wilds of an island camp in Botswana and the even more treacherous halls of an elite Philadelphia private school. In Africa, she slept in a tent, cooked over a campfire, and lived each day alongside the baboon colony her parents were studying. She could wield a spear as easily as a pencil, and it wasn't unusual to be chased by lions or elephants on any given day. But for the months of the year when her family lived in the United States, this brave kid from the bush was cowed by the far more treacherous landscape of the preppy, private school social hierarchy.

Most girls Keena's age didn't spend their days changing truck tires, baking their own bread, or running from elephants as they tried to do their schoolwork. They also didn't carve bird whistles from palm nuts or nearly knock themselves unconscious trying to make homemade palm wine. But Keena's parents were famous primatologists who shuttled her and her sister between Philadelphia and Botswana every six months. Dreamer, reader, and adventurer, she was always far more comfortable avoiding lions and hippopotamuses than she was dealing with spoiled middle-school field hockey players.

In Keena's funny, tender memoir, Wild Life, Africa bleeds into America and vice versa, each culture amplifying the other. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Wild Life is ultimately the story of a daring but sensitive young girl desperately trying to figure out if there's any place where she truly fits in.

My Review

I had such a wonderful time reading about Keena Robert's childhood. She has lived in Africa and Botswana. Yet, occasionally, she and her family would come back to the United States when her parents were done with their research in the "field" and needed to come back to compile their research and renew their passports.

The first time that Keena went back to public school in the US; I felt back for her. I could picture her dance with the gorilla and all of the other girls in their ballet outfits. Keena does move to the own beat of her drum. I am envious of her childhood. What an amazing experience.

This is one of the best memoir/coming of age books that I have read in a long time. I did not feel like there was any gaps missing and I got to know Keena. Wow, it is shocking that this is Keena's debut novel; readers better watch out for Keena's next book.

2 Winners. US and Canada only. Leave a comment here or Instagram (extra entries on Instagram). Winners chosen November 12th.

Grand Central Publishing

Keena Roberts


traveler said…
Wild Life sounds captivating and fascinating. Thanks for this lovely feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com
petite said…
This memoir would be very interesting. Such adventures. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com
Mystica said…
Sounds like a fabulous memoir. Sad and happy and a bit emotional too.
Am overseas so dont put me in for the giveaway!

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