How to Raise a Rhino

After growing up in stodgy, Post-WWII London, Anna Merz was determined to live a life of grand adventure. She spent much of her life in Ghana, racing horses, exploring the Sahara, and rescuing orphaned wild animals that were dropped at her door.

When Anna retired to Kenya, she anticipated rest and relaxation. Instead, she found her true calling, that of Kifaru Mama (Rhino Mama).

Witnessing the slaughter of wild animals sold for their parts, Anna determined to rescue the highly endangered black rhino, the dodo of the modern world — ungainly creatures destined for extinction. They may not have the beauty of a cheetah, the majesty of an elephant or the smarts of a dolphin, but this, small, older white woman saw they needed saving and so she stepped up. From building 8-foot-tall fences around 5,000 acres of land, to darting rhinos from helicopters and trucking them to safety, and adopting a newborn rhino abandoned by her mother, Anna’s life became one challenge after another.

As she struggled against savage poachers, in-country politics, and her budget, Anna’s love for Samia meant she couldn’t give up. Can Anna really make a difference, or is this, as her husband said, “another of her wild ideas?”

Alexandra the Great

This middle-grade, non-fiction book is about the epic filly, Rachel Alexandra, who in 2009 became the only three-year-old filly to ever win Horse of the Year. Although this book is about a horse, it is also, more fundamentally, about how a strong female, supported by a group of people who believe in her, can excel despite heavy odds against her.

Aronson’s telling of Rachel Alexandra’s story proves that the best athletes can be role models, and sometimes those athletes need not be human to inspire us.

Brendan O’Meara

Author of Six Weeks in Saratoga

Whether a horse enthusiast or new to the sport, there’s much to learn from Rachel’s story.

Booklist Online

This vivid, swiftly moving story showcases Rachel Alexandra’s heart, grace, perseverance, and sheer athletic power that earned her the love and admiration of everyone around her. It also suggests how female athletes can shine when given the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

Susan Richards

Author of Chosen by a Horse, Chosen Forever, and Saddled

E.B. White

E.B. White was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid, so when I was asked to write a biography about him I was thrilled to do it. I ended up admiring him even more as the project advanced.

This book is part of a series published by Rosen Books for seventh graders, but I like to think this is a good read for anyone curious about the author of such classics as Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.

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