It's not easy welcoming a baby brother after living thirteen years as an only child. It's even harder to welcome a baby brother who isn't even human – but a chimpanzee. Ben Tomlin's parents have embarked on a research project to determine whether chimps, one of mankind’s closest animal relatives, can acquire advanced language skills.
The Tomlins move to a new town, and Ben is forced to deal with starting a new school and meeting new classmates on top of treating Zan, the chimp, like a little brother. Ben has never been a good student, but with Zan, Ben is finally beginning to be good at something. As Zan learns American Sign Language, he and Ben become closer and closer.
Unfortunately the rest of his family doesn't share the emotional connection to Zan. Ben's father sees Zan as nothing more than an experiment. Families are complicated, even without wild animals in them. Ben is learning that you can't always do right by the people – and animals – you love.
What would YOU do if your parents brought home a chimpanzee brother for you? Let us know in the Comments.
— Emily, Scholastic Booktalker