Heart of Danger by Eliot Schrefer

Heart of Danger

Written by Eliot Schrefer

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When Sophie is trapped by rebel fighting at her mother's animal sanctuary in the African Congo, she must save herself - and a baby bonobo she's promised to protect. With political instability of African countries in the news once again, and the recent unrest in Congo, Eliot Schrefer’s compelling, heart-rending story is a timely exploration of the effects of conflict. Heart of Danger dramatises the terrible impact this can have on both people and animals, but also shows one girl’s struggle to see the best in humanity.

A Piece of Passion from the Publisher Barry Cunningham

We all believe there’s more to the relationship between humans and animals than we currently understand. So it’s important to stand up for animals. But how far would we really go to protect them? In this story, Sophie saves Otto the bonobo, an act of courage that leads to difficult and dangerous choices. Like most young people, she relies on her instincts to tell her the truth!

Click here to download a piece by Eliot Schrefer of the inspiration behind Heart of Danger.


Heart of Danger by Eliot Schrefer

When Sophie rescues Otto, a baby bonobo clinging to life, her world changes for ever. Until then, she had never understood her mother’s decision to create an animal sanctuary in the most dangerous place on earth: the African Congo. But one night, while her mother’s away, rebel soldiers attack. To save herself and Otto, Sophie must follow her heart into danger.

Please note - re the video, Heart of Danger was published in the US under the name Endangered.


‘… would’ve made my eyes huge with wonder and shock as a fourteen year old … It’s one of those books that makes you look at your own culture a little differently; makes your world a little stretchier.’ Maggie Stiefvater, author of the Shiver trilogy

‘… Dazzling, big-hearted …’ The New York Times, Editor's Choice

‘Schrefer grounds this taut, heart-wrenching tale in details gleaned from his work on a similar sanctuary and paints vivid portraits of intelligent, peaceful primates.’
Washington Post

‘Schrefer shines a light on an oft-overlooked part of the world with this intense adventure set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.’ Publishers Weekly, starred review (USA)

‘Schrefer spares no detail, fully exposing the horrors of war as he chronicles Sophie’s struggle for survival. This drama is clearly written from the heart, smoothly educating readers about the perilous dichotomy of the Congo and the heart-wrenching plight of the endangered bonobo, without sacrificing the intensity of the story.’
Publishers Weekly, starred review (USA)

‘…a vividly realized setting and a harrowing portrait of a country at war… nature-loving teens will be captivated.’ Booklist (USA)

‘A well-researched tale of jungle survival… the lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers… a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure.’
Kirkus Reviews (USA)

‘Schrefer combines successfully the thrilling adventure of jungle survival with the heartwarming story of Sophie and Otto.’ Voice of Youth Advocates (USA)

‘I cannot recommend this book highly enough... the perfect mix of humanity, history, biology, conservation, compassion, the human condition, and current events.’
The Reading Zone (USA)

About the Author

Eliot Schrefer

Eliot Schrefer is the author of The Deadly Sister, The School for Dangerous Girls, Glamorous Disasters, and The New Kid. He lives in New York City when he is not visiting bonobos in Congo. Visit him online at

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Book Info


320 pages


Eliot Schrefer
More books by Eliot Schrefer

Author's Website



Chicken House Ltd

Publication date

1st April 2013




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