Everyday Heroes: Jane Goodall
Book Title: I Am Jane Goodall
Book Author: Brad Meltzer
This book is a child friendly account of Dr. Jane Goodall touching on how she grew up and began her research on chimpanzees. It helps show the importance of caring for the Earth and to work together for conservation. It also shows that you can turn something you love into a career.
The story begins with Jane’s first birthday when her dad gives her a stuffed animal chimpanzee. The story follows her as she grows. Jane loves the outdoors, nature and animals. She talks about how she hides earthworms under her pillow to keep them safe (I’m sure there’s a lot of kids that can relate lol), she falls in love with the book Dr. Doolittle and wants to work with animals. It even talks about what type of student she was and society at the time she grew up, mentioning what kinds of jobs people felt girls should have, as well as how she worked and saved to get to Africa and meet wild animals.
In the book, she is always small and white-haired, even as she is talking as a grown woman but I think that kids tend to focus on what she was actually doing rather than her appearing the same throughout the book. I think the smallness may be to help children feel connected with the character, which works.
The book does a great job of giving biographical information of a historical figure in a simple, conversational way that kids can relate to. The story is told in a first-person tense keeping them fun and playful for kids. The book is part of a larger series called “Ordinary People Can Change The World.”