Ben isn't thrilled when his family moves across Canada without consulting him. His scientist parents are super excited because they have landed jobs that will enable them to live an experiment: the family will raise a baby chimp as a member of the family, teaching it sign language as it grows. At first Ben is totally resistant, but once he gets to know the baby whom he calls Zan, he falls in love and comes to accept him as his little brother. But as Zan grows and becomes stronger, it becomes clear that not only does Ben's father consider the experiment a failure, he never loved Zan. And now the family is threatened to be ripped apart...but this time Ben intends to make sure he has a say in things.
Inspired by true experiments from the 1970s, Half Brother will give readers insight about both animal experimentation and the wide range of motivations of scientists. Both animal lovers and science fans will find much to enjoy in this book. Acceptable for middle school, but fairly frank about animal impulses and drinking habits of the 1970s. Nothing graphic, but not an innocent read either. Excellent for high school.