First published: 1 October 1994
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

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On a research trip to West Africa, Dr. Hugo Archibald of the Boston Museum of Natural History encounters an orphaned baby chimpanzee. Archibald decides to bring the ape, which he named Jennie. Back to Boston and raise her alongside his own two young children.

Jennie captures the hearts of everyone she encounters. She believes herself to be a human being, and she does almost everything a human child can, from riding a tricycle to fighting with her siblings over television. She soon attracts the attention of a famous primatologist, who decides to include her in an experiment to teach chimpanzees to communicate using American Sign Language. Everything goes well; but what happens when the experiment is over?

Told from shifting points of view of those closest to Jennie, this bittersweet novel forces us to take a closer look at the species that shares 98 percent of our DNA. The novel confronts the question: what does it really mean to be human?

Jennie is partly based on the real story of the chimpanzee who inspired Curious George, a chimp who was raised at the American Museum of Natural History in the 1930s. Jennie was made into the award-winning Disney television film, The Jennie Project. It was translated into many languages and became a worldwide best-seller.

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