With a thick finger he slowly traced the path of a stray raindrop that had landed near the corner of his eye and trickled down his cheek. And he thought to himself that it was probably a very good thing that gorillas didn’t know how to cry. Raised in a laboratory, Ortega might seem nearly human to his scientist-caregivers, but to the children at his new school, a talking gorilla is nothing but a freak. Unless he wants to spend the rest of his life locked in a cage, however, Ortega is going to have to change people’s minds. More than a comic-adventure novel, Ortega asks the reader to reflect upon the limits of science, imagine how it feels to be profoundly different from those around you and, most of all, consider what it really means to be human.
Winner, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award (Manitoba Book Awards), 2011
Nominee, Diamond Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award), 2011
Silver Birch Official Selection, Ontario Library Association, 2011