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A Boy and a Jaguar

6 Jun

I first heard Alan Rabinowitz tell his story in a radio broadcast of   The Moth. Rabinowitz tells how, as a young boy with a profound stutter, he made a vow to a jaguar in the Bronx zoo. Later, as an adult he was able to work with jaguars in Belize and fulfill his promise.

A new picture book tells Rabinowitz’s story for a younger audience. Written by Rabinowitz and beautifully illustrated by Catia Chen.

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The story is a personal narrative and would be an excellent way to introduce students of all ages to writing their own personal narrative. It gives us a glimpse into the inner life of a child who feels broken but wants to be “fixed”. It is only with animals that he is able to speak without stuttering. As an adult he still felt the connection to the animal world and turned his weakness into a strength, becoming a jaguar researcher and advocate for endangered animals.

If you would like to hear Rabinowitz tell the story in his own voice, you can listen to it at:

http://themoth.org/posts/storytellers/alan-rabinowitz

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