Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs

Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs Review

Keena Roberts split her adolescence between the wilds of an island camp in Botswana and the even more treacherous halls of an elite Philadelphia private school. In Africa, she slept in a tent, cooked over a campfire, and lived each day alongside the baboon colony her parents were studying. She could wield a spear as easily as a pencil, and it wasn't unusual to be chased by lions or elephants on any given day. But for the months of the year when her family lived in the United States, this brave kid from the bush was cowed by the far more treacherous landscape of the preppy, private school social hierarchy.

Most girls Keena's age didn't spend their days changing truck tires, baking their own bread, or running from elephants as they tried to do their schoolwork. They also didn't carve bird whistles from palm nuts or nearly knock themselves unconscious trying to make homemade palm wine. But Keena's parents were famous primatologists who shuttled her and her sister between Philadelphia and Botswana every six months. Dreamer, reader, and adventurer, she was always far more comfortable avoiding lions and hippopotamuses than she was dealing with spoiled middle-school field hockey players.

In Keena's funny, tender memoir, Wild Life, Africa bleeds into America and vice versa, each culture amplifying the other. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Wild Life is ultimately the story of a daring but sensitive young girl desperately trying to figure out if there's any place where she truly fits in.

Title:Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs

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    Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs Reviews

  • Nenia ? Aspiring Evil Overlord ? Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestThe movie Mean Girls opens up with Cady Heron returning to normal high school life after spending the last 12 years in Africa with her zoologist...

  • Erin Khar

    I was fortunate to be able to read an advanced copy of Wild Life. This is the kind of memoir that surprises, the kind you can't put down. It's going to appeal to a broad audience — will please both ...

  • Jessica

    This review and more can be found on The Book Bratz.When I first heard about Keena's book during one of the #Class2k19Books chats that we were given the awesome opportunity to host, I was immediately ...

  • Michelle

    I rarely, if ever, read memoirs. Every now and then, if it’s someone of great cultural/historical significance, then perhaps, but I tend to stay away, especially if it’s just your average person. ...

  • K.A. Black

    This is, by far, the best non-fic book I've read. Roberts drops you right into her life at a young age and does a great job of bringing you right along with her first to Kenya, then the US, and finall...

  • Kelly Coon

    I’ve never been so in love with a memoir. Roberts brought me to the Okavango Delta and her family’s research baboon camp, and I felt as if I were actually there. With vivid descriptions and harrow...

  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.I really enjoyed this book! If you follow my reviews, you probably already know that my taste in books is pretty eclectic. While I am wil...

  • Dawn

    I enjoyed this book so much, I worry there is no possible way I could write a review worthy of the book. As lacking as my review might be (if I could give myself the kind of pep talk Keena gave hersel...

  • SundayAtDusk

    After reading Keena Robert's memoir, I am going to assume the front cover photo is photoshopped, since one learns from the book that the hippopotamus is the most dangerous creature in all of Africa. P...

  • Laura

    I always wondered where Pippi Longstocking went on her journeys, and I feel like I just got a little glimpse. It’s hard to believe that this is a memoir and that’s what I loved most about it. I li...