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The Lion Children [Paperback]

Angus Mcneice , Maisie Mcneice , Travers Mcneice
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Oct 2002
The five McNeice children lived a conventional life in the Cotstwolds until, in l995, their mother Kate, a biologist, seized the opportunity to go and study lions in Botswana. Travers, Emily and Angus, the three middle children, take it in turns to recount their adventures in the Okavango Delta, one of the most beautiful wildernesses on earth, where they must quickly learn to fetch water, dig their own toilet, and discover which creepy-crawlies can kill them. In a Land Rover sometimes driven by 12-year-old Travers, they track prides of lions across hundreds of miles of bush. Their classroom an open hut, they take scientific notes and record their observations of the wild life around them - zebra, giraffe, elephant, impala and much more. Written with a wonderful vividness and immediacy, this is a fascinating book for all animal-lovers, enhanced by colour photographs.


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens; New edition edition (17 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842552201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842552209
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A fascinating read, the book, also contains a marvellous set of colour photographs of the family and some of the lions they met." (Animal Antics )

"a different and delightful take on living in Africa." (Traveller Magazine, 1 April 2003 )

Traveller Magazine

"a different and delightful take on living in Africa."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profoundly moving and inspiring book 5 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a truly remarkable book. I could not put it down. Angus, Maisie, and Travers (and Oakley) McNeice write of the complete transformation of their lives brought about when their mother, a biologist, decided to take the family to live at Maun, on the edge of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and then to a camp in the African bush to study lions. The book is entirely in their own words, and illustrated by their own beautiful drawings. There is no cloying sentimentality here. The children write with honesty, courage, and remarkable wisdom; and they write extraordinarily well. They describe the challenges, anxieties, and excitement of settling down to life in the bush; their new friends; their first Christmas in Africa; their mother's remarriage; and above all, about the lions. We sense how the children become drawn into their parents' research, how they gain in expertise and understanding. There is no doubt that these children are highly capable young scientists. Their education - thanks to the remarkable vision, talent, and effort of their mother Kate - has been exceptional: "For us every day is a biology lesson, and we are lucky enough not to be solely dependent on dry textbooks, for we are being taught by nature itself," writes Travers. Would that more children had their eyes and minds opened by such an education! This is not, then, just the story of a unique and highly talented family, or a celebration of lions and a plea for the protection of these magnificent creatures, though that is an important message. It is about what education should be; about what our relationship to nature should be; about what life is. Human relations play as central a role in the book as those between humans and other animals: the love and mutual support of these children and their parents shine out from the pages. This is a deeply moving book that could change your life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Travors, Angus & Maisie McNiece, along with their older sister Emily and their younger brother Oakley moved with their mother Kate to Botswana six years ago, of which they have spent 5 years living with their stepdad Pieter in the African bush. Their story is a fascinating one of living in the wilderness told from the children's point of view. They have experienced many adventures, learned even more about the african wildlife and are real experts on how to survive amongst lions, hyeanas and elephants. But they also describe the difficulties of living in Africa, it is not easy to grow up in the African bush. I enjoyed the book very much, an exciting and interesting book for any youngster and adult to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and moving 21 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I read this book from cover to cover as soon as I got it and I was amazed - there is pure magic within those covers. I am a student just finishing university and it has inspired me to put my career on hold and spend a year discovering Africa - this is not a book to be missed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change: Embrace or Dream 7 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
There are many times in the day when people wish they could be doing something else, but few have the courage to actually embrace change. This book describes a family who boldly took their life in their hands, picked it up and ultimately set up camp as lion researchers in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The children have written an honest and thoughtful account of this change and the challenges they have managed with insight, humour and maturity. Considering their age you will be astonished by the quality of their language and their ability to completely immerse you in their fascinating lives. It is an inspiration for anyone interested in an overseas dream, whether a child, traveller, holiday maker, or simply someone needing a few hours of escapism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Dawkins was right 13 May 2009
Format:Hardcover
For a detailed review please see the foreword by Richard Dawkins, which is also published in his book of essays, "A Devil's Chaplain". I bought the book because of his essay.

I am now two thirds of the way through reading "The Lion Children" to my daughter. "The Lion Children" was written by a family of children growing up in Botswana in Africa. It is mostly about their experiences living in the bush, helping to study lions. There is nothing else like it.

My daughter asks to hear more most nights. (She is only 5 so I have to simplify much of it, but this does not seem to matter). From our readings thus far, I would recomend that all children should read it. I look forward to finding out about what has happened to the Lion Children since the book, if that is possible. And to finding out more facts about the lions and the bush.

Rachel
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book!! 9 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is not just a sentimentally idealised view; these children know how to write, and describe their extraordinary life in Botswana with a unique perspective and vivid flair. The three authors take it in turns to tell their own very individual stories, each with his or her personal and distinct style. Adults and children alike will be fascinated by this remarkable tale - highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 27 Jun 2013
By KN123
Format:Hardcover
I loved this book. It is a real page-turner. Each of the children write with ease and confidence and create a sense of place and atmosphere, whilst each demonstrating a unique voice. It is very moving in places and while I loved the detail about the lions and life in the bush, it was the human story and characters that really had me gripped.
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