29. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
A girl disguises herself as a boy in order to enter training to be a warrior. This was a pretty good read, but it never really grabbed me. It was nice to read about a strong determined girl who goes about reaching her goals by whatever means necessary. There are hints that something big is in store for her, so I will probably keep reading the series. I thought the writing was a little simplistic, but then I saw that this was marked as an "elementary" book not young adult, so that may be part of the problem.
30. Hope for Animals and their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall
This is a good book to read if you are interested in animals or conservation. It is really a collection of small essays about different species that are labeled conservation successes, so it is not great to read straight through. The purpose of the book is to counteract the hopelessness a lot of people feel when discussing conservation. The idea is that this hopelessness stops people from acting, so Goodall decided to present some success stories, in hopes that people will see a difference can still be made for a lot of species that appear to be in a dire situation. I can see the merit in this approach, but at times I was worried the book went too far in the positive direction, and lost some of the sense of urgency that we need to have when thinking about conservation. Also, there was a lot about zoos and captive breeding programs, and I, personally, am not convinced that these contribute to conservation to the extent we hope they do. Still, I love Jane Goodall and this was a very interesting book overall.