top of page

From National Book Award Finalist Eliot Schrefer comes the compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos -- and herself -- from a violent coup.


Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good. When Sophie has to visit her mother at her sanctuary for bonobos, she’s not thrilled to be there. Then Otto, an infant bonobo, comes into her life, and for the first time she feels responsible for another creature.


But peace does not last long for Sophie and Otto. When an armed revolution breaks out in the country, the sanctuary is attacked, and the two of them must escape unprepared into the jungle. Caught in the crosshairs of a lethal conflict, they must struggle to keep safe, to eat, and to live.


In ENDANGERED, Eliot Schrefer plunges us into a heart-stopping exploration of the things we do to survive, the sacrifices we make to help others, and the tangled geography that ties us all, human and animal, together.​

Praise for Endangered



  • Finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, 2012

  • NPR “Best Books 2012: 5 Young Adult Novels That You'll Never Outgrow”

  • ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013

  • Finalist for the Cybils award for young adult literature

  • American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer List Selection 2013

recognizing best feminist books for young readers

  • Chicago Public Library’s “Best of the Best” 2012


The Washington Post:

“Eliot Schrefer grounds this taut, heart-wrenching tale in details gleaned from his work on a similar sanctuary and paints vivid portraits of intelligent, peaceful primates.”


The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice:

“Sometimes during an act of heroism, it's the savior who ends up being saved. Such is the case in Eliot Schrefer's dazzling, big-hearted novel Endangered…As riveting as the action is, it's the nuanced portraits of the characters, human and ape, that make the story so deeply affecting.”


Publisher’s Weekly * (Starred Review):

“Clearly written from the heart.”


Kirkus Reviews:

“A well-researched tale of jungle survival… the lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers… a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure.”



“A vividly realized setting and a harrowing portrait of a country at war… nature-loving teens will be captivated.”

“This story needs to be heard. Endangered will reach deep into the reader’s heart and soul, never to be forgotten.”



“A thrilling adventure that explores the transformative bond between a human and an ape.”


School Library Journal:

“A poignant and moving story.”



“Schrefer combines successfully the thrilling adventure of jungle survival with the heartwarming story of Sophie and Otto. These two elements should mean a wide open audience.”


Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books:

“the carefully orchestrated details of her perilous trek and of the resilient ape community make her journey compelling. Sophie herself is one resourceful girl, relying on her knowledge of bonobo behavior and survival skills to make it to the release site alive. The fact that both her future and those of the bonobos hang in the balance doubles the stakes in this taut drama.”


Natural History:

“A deserving National Book Award Finalist… an unmistakable subtext is the contrast between the pacifist bonobos and the rapaciousness of the human revolutionaries—and of the Western powers that condone their violence for the sake of valuable minerals.”


Children’s Books:

“Endangered is a great story with believable characters and lots of action and will appeal to adults as well as teen readers.”





bottom of page