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Review: The Penguin Lessons

March 10, 2016

The Penguin Lessons

When Tom Michell was a young man he taught school in Argentina.  While he was there, he went to Uruguay for the weekend.  He went to a beach that was devastated by an oil spill and rescued the one penguin that survived.  He took the penguin back to the apartment he was staying in and cleaned it up.  When he tried to return it to the beach later, it refused to leave his side, so he took it back to Argentina with him.

The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird by Tom Michell is the story of a young man and the penguin he rescued.  Michell found himself in extraordinary circumstances and learned so much in the process.  Of course he learned about penguins but Juan Salvador (as he named the penguin) taught him and the others at the school so much more.

I found the beginning of The Penguin Lessons to be simply charming.  Michell’s clumsy attempts at helping the penguin were amusing and heartwarming and I thought I would probably end up loving this book.  The middle of the book dragged for me, though, so I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.  Thankfully things picked up in the end so I liked the book a great deal but didn’t quite love it.  I still recommend it to those who love memoirs and/or penguins.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
16 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2016 8:00 am

    I think definitely there is a group that could be defined as penguin lovers!

  2. Patty permalink
    March 10, 2016 8:08 am

    I love penguins but not memoirs!

  3. March 10, 2016 8:27 am

    Sounds adorable, despite the dragging middle.

  4. March 10, 2016 9:35 am

    I certainly have to admit that this is one memoir subject I haven’t seen before!

  5. March 10, 2016 11:20 am

    I probably would not pick this one up, but it does sound delightful, as I also love penguins. Thanks for sharing.

  6. March 10, 2016 12:44 pm

    This sounds like a sweet story, especially for all those people who are drawn to penguins.

  7. March 10, 2016 2:33 pm

    I love seeing the penguins at Sea World, so I think I’d like this book.

  8. Deepika Ramesh permalink
    March 10, 2016 3:06 pm

    What a coincidence! I read this today:

    And, in a few hours, I read your review. 🙂

  9. Literary Feline permalink
    March 10, 2016 3:19 pm

    What a fascinating story!

  10. March 10, 2016 5:15 pm

    I like the sound of this unusual memoir! Thanks for your honest review, Kathy!

  11. March 12, 2016 11:36 am

    “Books for those who love penguins.” I actually know somebody! Of course, who DOESN’T love penguins?

  12. March 12, 2016 1:18 pm

    A real life Popper’s Penguins story?? I am amazed that this penguin survived far away from home though I read about it dying. 😦 I have to pick this.

  13. March 12, 2016 9:53 pm

    I don’t qualify for either of your targets groups but it does look like a cute story.

  14. March 14, 2016 1:29 pm

    For some reason this reminds me of Mr. Poppers Penguins. LOL

  15. bookingmama permalink
    March 15, 2016 9:59 am

    It sounds like a cute story but it might have been better as a novella!

  16. Ryan permalink
    March 18, 2016 11:52 pm

    This just went on my wishlist.

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