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A Closer Look at Half Book

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A Closer Look at Half Brother

Kenneth Oppel's Half Brother is a well written story about an only child, Ben Tomlin who is 13 years old and his family. This book takes place in Toronto Canada, in the 1960's.

Ben's father, Richard is a behavior scientist and his mother is working to get her PhD, to do that she had to write a thesis. Richard mostly studied rats and their behavior but soon loses interest and wants to study chimpanzees and teach them American Sign Language (ASL); the only thing that's stopping Richard is the university refusing to fund the experiment. Until a university in Victoria, Canada offered to give him the chimp, make Richard a full professor and give him a promotion. Richard took the offer and moved his family from Toronto to Victoria. Once the Chimp arrived, which they later named Zan a lot of changes had to be made and all three members of the family had to adjust to Zan. Ben was embarrassed by Zan and would never hold him, while both of his parents tried to treat Zan like their own. It took a while but Zan and Ben's relationship became stronger, they spent as much time as they could together, protect each other and Ben begins to look at Zan as his little brother and loves him. "Project Zan" has been a success so far Zan has learned sixty-six signs and has even been featured in Time magazine. Unexpectedly Richard has to shut down Project Zan because of an unforeseen event. Not only is Zan put in danger but the family begins to fall apart.

I think Half Brother was a great book, there's an unexpected surprise in every chapter. I recommend this book to animal lovers, I think they would be able to enjoy it more and have a better understanding. Even if you're not an animal lover you'll still be able to relate to something in the book and learn a valuable lesson.



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