#733 – Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall
Written by Anita Silvey
Foreword by Jane Goodall
National Geographic Kids    6/09/2015
96 pages     Age 8—12

”At age 26, Jane Goodall was a headstrong young woman fulfilling her dream of living in an African wilderness. She spent her days exploring with the chimpanzees—animals she cared so passionately about. Just a few years later, she would emerge to become one of the most recognized and influential scientists of the modern world, making breakthroughs and meaningful connections with chimpanzees, changing our understanding of our closest living relatives and science itself. Despite having no formal training, Goodall, through hard work, acute observation, and her passion for animals she had loved since she was a child, made scientific discoveries thought impossible by more experienced field observers. Chimps eat meat. They use tools. They laugh. And they’re more like us than we ever realized.” [front jacket]

Untamed begins with Ms. Goodall’s childhood, growing up outside of London and with a single parent: her devoted mother. It then explores her first efforts at making a living and then how she needed up in Africa and working for Louis Leaky. Then the most interesting sections of Untamed unfold with Jane Goodall in Africa, looking for the elusive chimpanzees with her mother. Kids will get a look at Ms. Goodall’s “family album” of chimpanzees she researched and fondly loved. Finally, the author put together a timeline of Ms. Goodall’s life thus far. At age 81, Jane Goodall is not slowing down; nor does she look her age.


Untamed is one of the most sophisticated National Geographic Kids books. It is well thought out in both the text and design, is visually beautiful with luscious photographs and graphics, and accessible to both children and adults. Untamed brings Jane Goodall to life for those who read this biography. Ms. Goodall found ways to succeed where others not only could not, but thought impossible. Untamed will inspire others to champion animals and the environment as the two cannot be separated. Kids will love the photographs, many from the research field. Teachers will find many uses for Untamed from science class to simply inspiring girls—and boys—to work hard and aim high.


Jane Goodall can inspire those who may not be able to afford an education. She did more to advance science and the scientific method than most every scientist did with an advanced education. (She did earn a PhD from Cambridge University, one of only eight to have done so without first earning an undergraduate degree.) Using her given talents wisely, working hard, and never giving up, Jane—and the two female researchers who followed—will inspire more girls to consider science as a career. She is the perfect role model though I doubt she would agree with the word “perfect.”


Ms. Goodall’s many organizations—Jane Goodall Institute, TACARE, and Roots & Shoots for kids—will continue her research, improve the lives of the people she came in contact with in Africa, and inspire kids to help their own communities. Her reach is global and all of her efforts will keep conservation and research viable for generations to come. 

UNTAMED: THE WILD LIFE OF JANE GOODALL. Text copyright © 2015 by Anita Silvey. Compilation copyright © 2015 by National Geographic Society. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, National Geographic Kids, Washington, DC.

Purchase Untamed at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksNational Geographic.

Learn more about Untamed HERE.
Find National Geographic’s Teacher Resources HERE.

Roots & Shoots (for kids):  https://www.rootsandshoots.org/
Jane Goodall Institute:   http://www.janegoodall.org/ 

Meet the author, Anita Silvey, at her website:  http://www.anitasilvey.com/
Find more National Geographic Kids books at the Nat Geo website: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/
.      .National Geographic Kids is an imprint of the National Geographic Society.

Also Written by Anita Silvey
Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac
The Plant Hunters
Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot
I’ll Pass For Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey, and received from National Geographic Kids, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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