February 25th 2014 by Candlewick Press
Copy from Young Adult Books Central and reviewed there.
Also available when I read this as a Google E Book.
Pedru has a happy life in his village, but when he is coming home with his friends one night, they are out after dark, and Pedru is attacked by a lion. He loses his arm, but luckily, not his life. His father is the best hunter in the village, and points out that even though Pedru no longer has two arms, he still has the powers of observation that a good hunter needs. Pedru is determined to find the lion who attacked him, and when another villager is killed, Pedru and his father go hunting. They kill a lion, but it is not the lion they wanted. It did, however, have on a radio collar, which they return to the lion observation station. There, they learn that scientists are tracking and studying lions in the hopes that they can keep people safe from lion attacks by knowing where the lions are, and also by informing people of lion safety tips. Pedru decides to pursue this further, and eventually goes to college to study lions, and his whole family ends up working for a business that conducts lion tours.
Strengths: This slim volume had excellent information about what it is like to live in a fairly wild part of Africa and deal with the wildlife there. The scene where Pedru loses his arm is not overly graphic, and this would be a good book from about 3rd grade up. Pedru's initial reaction (to kill the lion) and his later realization (that lions need to be protected) make this interesting for middle school students as well. I certainly learned a lot about Africa.
Weaknesses: I wish we had a specific location for this, and perhaps a map. The illustrations reminded me of ones from the 1970s, and I'm still not sure whether students will like them or not. It was a good call to go with the photo cover.