Ortega by Maureen Fergus

A junior fiction review by glenn

Kids Can Press (2009)

ortega

Those of you who are almost as old as dirt may remember the first ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie way back in 1968.  I was 4 at the time but remember watching the movie with great interest.  Many will be familiar with the content on account of the remake of this show just a few years ago.  Simply, later in human history, apes developed abilities comparable to humans and could talk, etc.  Then they take over the world!  In Ortega, Maureen develops a similar gorilla theme though without a world domination element.  Ortega the gorilla is nurtured and developed to the point of being able to talk and reason.  The scientific community convinces administrators to integrate him into a school setting with human children.  The remainder of the story reflects Ortega’s strong-will and consequential predicaments.  Recommended for younger audiences.

Maureen Fergus resides in Winnipeg with her husband and three kids.  Her previous novels for young people include ‘Exploits of a reluctant (but extremely good looking) hero’ and ‘Recipe for disaster’.  She will visit Dauphin for Arts Alive on Sept 28th and perform a reading from 1 – 2:30 pm at the Curling Rink.

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