Book: Malunda

Author: Louise Johnson

Illustrator: Edward Durose

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books, 1982

ISBN-13: 978-0876141779 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0876141777 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-9992860311 Paperback

ISBN-10: 9992860316 Paperback

Language level:  1

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

Recommended reading level: Ages 8-10

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, 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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Johnson, LouiseMalunda (Published in 1982 by Carolrhoda Books Inc., 241 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN).  Malunda is a white rhinoceros with a long, pointed horn curved back from his nose and a second, shorter horn sitting right behind it.  He lives in Africa with a small herd of other white rhinos, which are an endangered species.  Suddenly, a helicopter flies overhead, Malunda and his herd are shot with tranquilizer darts, and they are put in large wooden crates on trucks.  But nothing bad is happening.  The rhinos are being taken to a new home at a zoo in England where they can be protected from hunters and bred to keep from going extinct.

However, during the capture, Malunda’s long horn breaks off.  As a result of the injury, he comes down sick, but even after he gets better, he remains angry and withdrawn as if ashamed of his missing horn.  If he keeps on acting this way and stays away from the others, there won’t be any breeding.  What will happen to Malunda?  Can anything be done about his broken horn?  And will there be any baby rhinos?  This is one of the Carolrhoda on My Own Books and is based on a true story of one young white rhinoceros and his herd of twenty who were captured in 1970 and taken to Whipsnade Park Zoo.

Unfortunately, the author apparently feels that she just has to tell her readers as a confirmed fact that “Rhinoceroses have roamed the earth for 50 million years,” as if there were some reporter back then who chronicled the event and left a record.  Other than that, Malunda is a very interesting story that was pronounced a 1982 Outstanding Science Book for Children by the NSTA-CBC (National Science Teachers Association-Children’s Book Council) Joint Committee.  Kids who love animals will really like this tale.

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