Light Shining Through the Mist

by Tom L. Matthews

How far can a person's passion take them? For Dian Fossey, it carried her all... read more

How far can a person's passion take them? For Dian Fossey, it carried her all the way from Kentucky to the Virunga Mountains in central Africa, to a job for which she had no formal training but for which she possessed a passionate interest. Tom L. Matthews captures Fossey's passion as well as her intelligence and integrity in this fine photobiography illustrated with numerous color photographs of Fossey at work among the African mountain gorillas. When she was chosen by Dr. Louis Leakey to study the gorillas, Fossey was already intensely intrigued by these animals. But she was not a scientist. She studied on her own and, once established in the isolated mountain region where the gorillas roam, she observed and documented their lives and relationships with painstaking patience and care. Eventually, she was trusted and accepted by the gorillas themselves, and she became a passionate advocate on their behalf, taking on poachers, herders, and the government of Rwanda as she sought to protect them from harm. Her position-protect the gorillas at all costs-was not a popular one, even among many of her colleagues, but it was born out of her respect for and devotion to the gentle gorillas. A sensitive, compassionate narrative touches briefly on Fossey's childhood and young adulthood before focusing on the life's work she began at age 34 and carried out until she was killed by an unknown attacker at her mountain camp in 1985. (Ages 11-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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