Publication Date: September 2010
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Autumn 2010 Kids' Next List
“I really want this story to be true. Ben Tomlin's dad has brought home a baby chimp for their family to raise as part of his psychology research. Oppel doesn't give you every moment, but it feels like you have lived them all. Watching Ben move from boy to young man as he struggles with Zan's fate after the funding is pulled from his dad's experiment, is so powerful. Just read it, it's worth your time.”
-- Laura DeLaney, The Rediscovered Bookshop, Boise, ID
For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan ? an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Ben's father, a renowned behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Ben's parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. At least now he's not the only one his father's going to scrutinize. It isn't long before Ben is Zan's favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. His father disagrees. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true ? between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate. Half Brother isn't just a story about a boy and a chimp. It's about the way families are made, the way humanity is judged, the way easy choices become hard ones, and how you can't always do right by the people and animals you love. In the hands of master storyteller Kenneth Oppel, it's a novel you won't soon forget.