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Children's Literature Reviews
Item 1 of 1

Peter Dickinson.
Cataloging in Publication
New York : Delacorte Pr., 1989


After a terrible accident, a young girl wakes up to discover that she has been given the body of a chimpanzee.

Best Books:

Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002 ; California Department of Education; California

Awards, Honors, Prizes:

Parents' Choice Award, 1989 Silver Fiction United States
Parents' Choice Award, 2003 Silver Best 25 Books in 25 Years United States
Parents' Choice Award, 2003 Best 25 Books in 25 Years United States
Phoenix Award, 2008 Winner United States

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 1992 ; Nominee; South Carolina
Young Adult Reading Program, 1993 ; Grades 7-12; South Dakota


Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
Following a terrible car crash, Eva, 14, awakens from a strange dream and finds herself in a hospital bed. Medical science, in this book's future setting, has allowed doctors to pull her functioning brain from her crushed body and put it into the able body of a chimpanzee. With the aid of a voice synthesizer, she communicates with others and adjusts to her new body; because her father is a scientist who has always worked among the chimps (who have been crowded by the massive human population out of any semblance of a natural world, and into iron and steel jungles), Eva is comfortable with her new self. She takes on the issue of animal rights, setting up (with the help of others, of course) an elaborate scheme to release chimps back into the last of the wild. Years later, that is where she dies. The story is riveting from the outset, especially as Dickinson details the ways in which Eva's life is saved, and the progress of her recovery. As the story becomes more political, the author loses sight of some compelling questions he has sewn into the opening pages: Who owns her--the chimp's owner, her parents, herself? Eva's human aspect becomes a device that allows her to help other chimps survive, but is otherwise unquestioned. The drama is no less suspenseful for that, but it is less satisfying. Ages 12-16. (Apr.)

Cathy Camper (The Five Owls, May/June 1989 (Vol. 3, No. 5))
Eva is a tale of backwards evolution, a story of man's regression back to apes. Dickinson breathes fresh life into this potential Planet of the Apes rerun by questioning mankind's insatiable curiosity and desire to control nature. The story is set in an overpopulated, futuristic world, where TV hologram jungles and advertisements featuring chimps in jumpsuits have all but taken the place of real wildlife. When scientists begin to transplant human minds into chimps' bodies, it raises many ethical questions about animal rights and the rights of science. Through Eva's adolescent mind and her compassionate understanding of chimpanzees, the reader comes to appreciate and even envy the chimps' way of life, which seems often less crazy than the human world. Dickinson wisely maintains a scientific objectivity toward his animal characters, "personifying" them only within the parameters of realistic chimp behavior. Although set in a science fiction world, this book will raise many contemporary questions concerning the ethics of experimentation and human infringement of animal rights, provocative questions that will stick in the reader's mind long after the story is done. 1989, Delacorte, $14.95. Ages 12 up.

LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng)
0440501296 $14.95
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