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Lit Circles - Primary: Papio

About the book

​Papio by Victor Kelleher

"Getting them out of here may not be as easy as you think," she warned him.


'At Jem's insistence they spent the next hour or more trying to encourage the animals to make off into the bush, but their efforts proved hopelessly inadequate. Neither Papio nor Upi showed any desire for freedom.'


It seems simple enough for David and Jem to release the two baboons from the experimental research station where they are doomed to die. But when they discover that the baboons are no longer capable of looking after themselves in the African bush, David and Jem are forced to stay and protect them. And that's when their problems truly begin ...

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Extension material

undefinedVictor Kelleher was born in London and came to Australia in 1976 via Africa and New Zealand. After an academic career he now writes both children's and adults' novels full-time.

Questions for your circle

  • Do you think David and Jem did the right thing releasing the two baboons from the experimental research station?
  • Was there anything they could have done better?
  • Did the story make you feel uncomfortable about our treatment of animals? Explain some of your feelings whilst reading this book.
  • Suggest some changes we might make to improve the chances of animals that are used in laboratories for biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing.