Nearly 10,000 copies of a Chinese language edition of A Dangerous Life, a graphic novel for middle school–aged readers about the ivory trade, are being distributed this year to school children in China.
A Dangerous Life was written and illustrated by our longtime collaborator, Sheila Hamanaka (with assistance from Lisa Barile, Rosalie Knox, and Julie Lien), and published by AWI and the Kenya Wildlife Service in 2014. The colorful book presents an unsparing view of the grim realities of the global ivory trade and the heavy toll it takes on elephants and those on the ground dedicated to their protection. The story follows Amelia, an American teen whose grandfather made a fortune in the early 20th century from elephant ivory, on a family trip to Kenya. There, she encounters wild elephants and witnesses firsthand the tragic consequences of the demand for ivory. Amelia and the Chinese and Kenyan teens she meets along the way vow to save elephants and educate people about the true cost of ivory and why it should be shunned.
To produce the Chinese language edition of A Dangerous Life, AWI partnered with Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing, a company affiliated with Beijing Foreign Studies University, China’s largest university press. As China itself recognizes, stifling the demand for ivory will involve public education. It is our hope, therefore, that this Chinese language edition of A Dangerous Life will play a role in inspiring Chinese children—tomorrow’s consumers—to say no to ivory.