“Hey,” interrupted a
Swiveling on one
callused knuckle, Ortega saw a middle-aged man in a cheap theatre uniform
standing before them.
“I hope you’re not
thinking of bringing him into the theatre,” said the man, giving his
greasy head a jerk in Ortega’s direction.
“Why not?” demanded
Janice, who seemed to have forgotten that going into the theatre wasn’t
even part of the plan.
spluttered the man, gesturing with his hands. “He’s an animal.”
“You’re an animal,”
Ortega is no ordinary gorilla: he has been trained from birth to be able to
function as a normal human. Speaking, writing, all that junk. After ten
years of training, it is time for Ortega to enter grade five. A real school,
with kids his age. Only these kids are human. As Ortega struggles to fit in,
can he find a group of friends who will accept him as an equal?
Ortega is a humorous, witty, and intelligent novel for ages 10-13. It
is packed with emotion, and insight into the different lives of her vivid
characters. Even though Ortega is a gorilla, he is given a realistic
personality that makes him an “equal” with his friends and loved ones. The
scientific parts of this book were well written and never boring. This novel
seems a bit more geared for boys rather than girls, but I think it is great
Maureen Fergus is a writer who loves to laugh. If you like Ortega,
you may also like Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Good-Looking)
Hero, and Recipe for Disaster. She has (an extremely awesome)
habit of collecting stuffed animals.
I give Ortega four and one-half stars.