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review 2014-11-01 18:58
Rhinoceros Summer by JamieThornton


Lydia Gibbs is the daughter of a mild-mannered pastor and his wife. As such, she feels that she is type-cast by her classmates as the goody-two-shoes kind of girl. Lydia’s passion, however, is what drives her. Her passion is photography. She wants to work for National Geographic and take pictures that will make global impact. The summer she graduates from high school, Lydia finds herself in a dead-end job but she’s trying to save money to buy a good camera. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, a former classmate of Pastor Gibb is in a financial bind. Paul is a PH (short for professional hunter), having left his seminary days far behind him. He needs a photographer to film his safaris in order to gain rich clients and thus keep Blue Nile Resort and Safaris in business. Things only go from bad to worse when the man from the Wildlife Division is arrives to audit the safaris, especially since it is Paul’s own son Caleb who shows up. Needless to say things are not good between the two and haven’t been. Paul contacts Pastor Gibb and asks if Lydia might want to come to Tanzania and shoot safari photos – of course he can’t afford to pay her but the experience should be worth something. Lydia is thrilled to accept the offer in spite of her parents misgivings. Even better the congregation pulls together to provide camera and equipment for Lydia.


In Tanzania, Lydia faces the real world for the first time. From a scare at the airport upon her arrival, to being used as bait for the gentlemen clients, to ultimately facing the gritty reality of dying animals – even endangered ones – Lydia finds her strength and makes the most of the situation going so far as to having feelings for Caleb.


Rhinoceros Summer is a real world book that sheds light on the atrocities of killing animals just for their trophies (tusks, antlers, heads, etc). The culture of the Tanzanians is brought to the fore as rich Westerners demand the amenities of home while stalking their prey. Through it all is the coming-of-age of a young girl brought up in the sheltered culture of her religion.


I immensely enjoyed this book. After the first several chapters I found I couldn’t put it down. When I reached the conclusion, I found I wanted to know more about these well-developed characters. I sincerely hope Ms. Thornton is writing a sequel.


Word of caution: the safari scenes where the animals are hunted can be brutal.

Source: marionmarchetto.com/wp/blog/page/3
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review 2014-04-19 09:07
Booklikes Giveaway Winner Reviews Rhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton
Rhinoceros Summer - Jamie Thornton

Rhinoceros SummerRhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It occurred to me that the central character of Rhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton starts off as the mirror image of the central character of another book that I reviewed last year on The Unmasked Persona’s Reviews. Lydia Gibbs, the aspiring teen photographer in Rhinoceros Summer thinks that going to Africa will be a tremendous career-making opportunity. Jazz Hooper, the grief stricken teen with no aspirations in The See Through Leopard by Sibel Hodge, resents being uprooted by her father and hates going to Africa. Neither girl found what they expected there, but their experiences in Africa were life-changing.

My main criticism of The See Through Leopard about overt didacticism doesn’t hold true for Rhinoceros Summer. There are certainly ideas in this novel, but no long speeches. There are thoughts from the characters that give us their perspectives. Since there are multiple perspectives, I don’t feel that the author is preaching at me.

As the novel opens, Lydia the preacher’s daughter, is working at a Christian supply store. I wondered at that point whether this book could be considered Christian fiction. Although Lydia’s parents are portrayed sympathetically, their beliefs are not the only ones that are portrayed in a positive light. So I wouldn’t consider Rhinoceros Summer Christian fiction. At one point Lydia gets what she considers a surprising African viewpoint on Christian missionaries.

The complexity with which Jamie Thornton addresses her themes, builds her characters and re-creates the African milieu is what makes Rhinoceros Summer an excellent novel.

I received a free copy of this book through a giveaway on Booklikes.

For my complete review on Book Babe see http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2014/...

View all my reviews

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url 2014-01-03 02:51
My first BookLikes Giveaway!
Rhinoceros Summer - Jamie Thornton

Starting the year off right with a giveaway on BookLikes for Rhinoceros Summer



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review 2013-03-02 00:00
Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?
Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? - Shel Silverstein Fantastic book for kids! So imaginative and creative. Easy read that children will find delightful!

Shel Silverstein is always brilliant! His rhymes are fun and entertaining! Some of my all time favorites!! Such a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading!
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review 2011-12-10 00:00
My Rhinoceros
My Rhinoceros - Jon Agee Jon Agee was one of the authors at this fall's N. California trade show. When I told him that I was giving my copy of the book to the newest member of our family, he gave it this special touch.The story is sweet about a little boy who buys a rhinoceros from the exotic pet store, but is disappointed that it doesn't chase a ball, a stick, or a frisbee. But there are some surprises as to what a rhinoceros does do!
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