Thursday, May 6, 2010

Non-Fiction: Breathtaking

Breakfast in the Rainforest: A Visit With Mountain Gorillas, by Richard Sobol, is a beautiful photo-essay of a journey through Uganda. Mr. Sobol starts in Kampala, Uganda's capital, and makes his way southwest to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. His photographs of the people and the land are stunning. His text shows a real respect and appreciation for the Ugandan people who are the sole defense of the extremely endangered mountain gorilla population. Rangers estimate there are only about 650 mountain gorillas left in the forests of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These three countries in eastern Africa converge at the edge of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, only about 30 miles from the Bwindi Park. There are two different tribes of gorillas, one in each park. The story of Mr. Sobol's excursion to visit the gorilla's is told in the first person, present tense, lending a sense of immediacy and intimacy to the book. I recommend students to pick this one up and read it carefully and study the photos, as the world they portray is far enough from our own as to seem completely alien.

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