Book of the Week

A Boy and a Jaguar






by Alan Rabinowitz
illustrated by Cátia Chien
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt



Stutterers were once barred from classrooms for “disrupting the class”. Some were labeled disturbed children, yet many could sing or talk in private without stuttering. In A Boy and a Jaguar, the boy finds something in common with his pets — none of them can get their words out either. “I know that my pets listen and understand…I make a promise to my pets. I promise that if I can ever find my voice, I will be THEIR voice and keep them from harm.”

Doctors, medicine, hypnosis, nothing worked except avoiding people. Then one day his parents enroll him in an experimental program in college. He is taught to think about how his mouth moves and the air flows. However, speaking without stuttering in public does not fix his broken feeling inside. He needs to fulfill his promise. One day he gets to; he appears before the Prime Minister of Belize, lobbying for the first Jaguar Preserve in Central America, and wins.

Written by a spokesperson from the Stuttering Foundation of America, author Alan Rabinowitz, is also President and CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting wildcat species, a zoologist, and a dedicated wildlife conservationist. This spectacular picture book will tenderly resonate with children and adults and is recommended for ages 4 years and up.

Kristi Halberg
Education Resource Center
University of Delaware