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Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon
Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon
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Reviewed Titles Print Book Supported by Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader
Capstone Editions

Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon

by KT Johnston
Illustrated by César Samaniego

Jim was a South African railway inspector in the late 1800s who lost his legs in an accident while at work. Unable to perform all his tasks with his disability but desperate to keep his job, Jim discovered a brilliant solution, a baboon named Jack. Jim trained Jack to help him both at home and at the depot. But when the railway authorities and the public discovered a monkey on the job, Jack and Jim had to work together to convince everyone that they made a great team. This inspiring true story celebrates the history of service animals and a devoted friendship.

Reading LevelGrades 3-5
Interest LevelGrades 3-5
ATOS Level4
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #507068
Text TypeNarrative Nonfiction
PublisherCapstone Editions
BrandCapstone Editions
Page Dimensions9" x 11"
Page Count40
School/Library Price

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Kevin Kling, author, playwright, and coommentator for National Public Radio's - All Things Considered

"It's a human story, a story of resilience, a story of a dependent relationship and the human/animal connection, and most of all, a story of great friendship." - Kevin Kling, author, playwright, and coommentator for National Public Radio's

September 1, 2019

School Library Journal - Danielle Jones, Multnomah County Library, OR

"Both the art and the narrative steer clear of any anthropomorphization of Jack. Back matter includes photos of Jack and Wide at work, an author’s note, information on primates, the history of service animals, discussion questions, and a glossary. . . .The book successfully shows people’s relationships with service animals and offers a positive portrayal of disability. . . .A good conversation starter that will need some unpacking." - School Library Journal

January 1, 2020

Booklist - John Peters

"In the annals of service animals, there can be but few to equal Jack, a chacma baboon who operated switches, fetched keys, and performed other complex tasks at South Africa’s Uitenhage train station in the 1880s for Jim, a station attendant who had lost both legs in an accident. . . .Though the story itself is a sunny one, portraying a loving two-way relationship, the discussion questions add necessary balance by bringing up issues of exploitation, keeping wild animals in captivity, and the perils of anthropomorphism." - Booklist

November 15, 2019


Kirkus Reviews

"A warm, engaging tale of the bond between a resourceful man and his service animal." - Kirkus Reviews

December 1, 2019

KT Johnston

KT Johnston

KT found history a boring subject in school - but now it's the passion of her writing. She earned a degree in biology and conducted animal behavior studies before switching to a corporate career. After raising two children and several litters of curly-coated retrievers, KT began writing, spotlighting special animals who had affected the lives of everyday people. She and her husband live in Minneapolis where the four-legged members of their family have always been special. KT hopes to inspire others to be curious about the world, one true story at a time.

Go to the Author’s Page →