Reading Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Endangered is set in the present day during a civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Though the civil war depicted in the book is fictitious, it is based on the violent conflicts that have plagued the country since its independence from Belgian control in 1960.
Looking at the cover…
1. What does it mean to be “endangered”?
2. What do you notice about the man in the background on the cover?
3. What can you tell about the setting from the cover art?
Read the summary on the back cover to answer the following questions.
1. Who is the main character?
2. What is the setting of the story?
3. What problem does the main character face?
1. Why does Clément try to stop Sophie from buying Otto on pages 3 and 4? What details in Chapter 1 help you understand his concerns?
2. What does the author foreshadow at the end of Chapter 1? How does he foreshadow it?
3. Identify what Sophie promises Otto at the end of Chapter 1.
4. Explain Sophie’s relationship with her mother. How are they alike? How are they different?
5. On page 35, Sophie’s mother chastises the animal trader by telling him that bonobos “are nearly human.” How does the author develop this idea in previous pages?
1. Describe how the bond between Sophie and Otto grows on pages 49-53. What theme does the author develop through their bond?
2. What major event does Sophie learn about on page 56? What are the effects and potential effects of this event, as described on pages 56-58?
3. At the end of Chapter 6, Sophie says, “Saving myself would mean destroying [Otto]” and “Could I doom Otto, too?” What does she mean? What can you infer about Sophie’s thoughts and feelings from these statements?
4. What is the effect of the space breaks between paragraphs in Chapter 6? What is the effect of the lack of page breaks in Chapter 7?
1. What does the author mean by “cut off” in the paragraph at the bottom of page 71?
2. On page 2, Sophie thinks that a “person dying” is more important than “dying animals.” How have her feelings shifted on page 72? What theme does the author develop through this change in attitude?
3. What are some of the challenges and dangers of being in the enclosure? Why does Sophie conclude, on page 108, that it is the best place for her to be?
4. Explain what the author means by each of the following instances of figurative language:
Page 72: “I cradled the heartbeat beneath me”
Page 95: “I’d entered the troop’s pecking order”
Page 109: “Kindness was a luxury that only a full belly could afford.”
1. In chapter 13 (page 108) Sophie feels remaining in the enclosure is her best option. Why does she decide in chapter 14 (page 115) that she must leave the enclosure? Where does she intend to go?
2. How do Sophie and the group of bonobos escape from the soldier on page 125? Based on this event, what does Sophie conclude about bonobos and humans?
3. What details from pages 135 and 137 show that Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, is not safe? What does Sophie learn about Kinshasa on page 139? How does this information affect her plans?
4. What does Sophie realize about herself in the last paragraph on page 151? Why is this significant?
1. What does the phrase “Or so I thought” on page 183 foreshadow? How does Sophie react to what happens next?
2. On page 196, what does the author indicate about the boy by calling him “something of a figure among the soldiers”? What inferences can you make about the boy based on the details the author provides on page 198?
3. On pages 204 and 205, the author describes what Sophie says to the boy, as well as how she feels about him. How is what she says different from what she feels? Why doesn’t she say what she feels?
4. How does Sophie’s mixed heritage help protect her when she is with the boy on page 207?
1. On page 215, what does Sophie think she could learn from Otto? Why is this significant?
2. Why does the author repeat the word “couldn’t” at the end of Chapter 23? What is the effect of this repetition?
3. What does Sophie mean when she tells her mother that she “couldn’t have made it here without him” on page 225? What theme does the author develop by including this statement?
4. What mood does the author create in the first paragraph of page 227? What words does the author use to create this mood?
5. What does the author mean when he writes, “Heavily so; some stillnesses are full”, on page 232?
Chapter 27-Author’s Note
1. How does the author indicate at the beginning of chapter 27 that time has passe3d since the end of chapter 26? What details help you understand how much time has passed?
2. On page 241, what is “the whole story” Sophie gives when asked about the sneaker? Why does she tell the “whole story” instead of just what happened to her and Otto?
3. How does the author indicate that Sophie is sad about not being able to hug Otto on pages 246-247?
4. On page 248, what rule does Sophie’s mother allow Sophie to break? How does this show that Sophie’s mother has changed? What might have caused this change?