Bringing Up Ziggy: Lessons from a Helping Hands Monkey Mom



Book: Bringing Up Ziggy: Lessons from a Helping Hands Monkey Mom

Author: Andrea Campbell

Publisher: Renaissance Books, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1580630856

ISBN-10: 1580630855

Language level: 5

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: *** 3 stars (FAIR)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Campbell, Andrea.  Bringing Up Ziggy: Lessons from a Helping Hands Monkey Mom (published in 1999 by Renaissance Books, 5858 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA  90036).  In 1989, Andrea Campbell, who had recently undergone extensive facial reconstruction surgery due to a tumor, decided to participate in a program called Helping Hands in which she and her family, husband Michael and sons Courtney and Jordan, would raise a capuchin monkey to be trained to help and provide companionship for a quadriplegic.  Ziggy arrived when she was just five weeks old.  From the challenges of feeding an infant monkey to the ultimate lessons about love, commitment, and sacrifice, Andrea, who holds a degree in criminal justice, is a Diplomate and Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners, and is the author of several other nonfiction books, tells her story in Bringing Up Ziggy.  It is a very interesting account but there are a few items that some parents might want to know ahead of time.

Campbell does talk about the place of monkeys on “the evolutionary tree,” but she also writes about how “God outfitted their slender limbs and tails with good purpose.”  Smoking cigarettes and drinking beer are mentioned.  In addition to some common euphemisms, Ziggy is said to “pee” (the word “piss” is also used in a different context as well) and “poop,” and there are references to monkey masturbation and pretend copulation.  In addition to the “d” and “h” words being used fairly liberally, along with the ubiquitous “OMG,” the “s” word is found once, so while children generally enjoy reading about animals, you may want to keep this book out of the hands of little monkey lovers.  In addition to Campbell’s own record, there are chapters with her family’s observations and information about the Helping Hands program, citing some specific examples.

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