Unlikely Heroes

37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom


By Jennifer S. Holland

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$18.95 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $13.95 $18.95 CAD
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 7, 2014. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

In her heartwarming New York Times bestsellers Unlikely Friendships and last year’s Unlikely Loves, Jennifer Holland revealed the surprising emotional bonds that exist between animals of different species. Her books spent dozens of weeks on bestseller lists and caught the attention of major media from CBS This Morning to USA Today. Why? Because she opened our eyes to the rich inner lives of animals, showing us that the power of love and friendship is not for humans only.

In Unlikely Heroes, Ms. Holland uncovers and celebrates yet another side of animals that we often think belongs primarily to people—heroism, that indefinable quality of going above and beyond, often for altruistic reasons, often at great personal risk. These 37 inspiring true tales show animals whose quick acts have saved lives, like the pod of dolphins who protected swimmers in New Zealand from a great white shark by forming a screen around them. There are stories of animals who simply and unselfishly give, like Rojo the llama, who shines his very special light of lovingkindness on the elderly patients in an Oregon rehab center.

And there are compelling stories of heroic resilience: like Naki’o, the abandoned puppy who lost all four paws to frostbite but found the grit not only to overcome that terrible hardship but to reclaim the joy of life—that’s him, smiling on the cover of the book.


  • "A wonderful and most important book that will open your eyes about the compassion and empathy animals display. Read it, then read it again. It is an inspiring and perfect gift."
    --Marc Bekoff, author of Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed
    Marc Bekoff
  • "Sometimes an animal comes out of nowhere to take a risk on our behalf, or that of a fellow creature. Jennifer Holland has done it again, drawing attention to the emotional capacities of animals in a most engaging compilation of well-documented stories. The protective instincts of animals are powerful, and a source of deep gratitude for some."
    --Frans de Waal, author of The Bonobo and the Atheist
    Frans de Waal

On Sale
Oct 7, 2014
Page Count
256 pages

Jennifer S. Holland

Jennifer S. Holland

About the Author

Jennifer S. Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic. She has also written for, among others, The Discovery Channel, NPR, and The New York Times, specializing in science and natural history.


Learn more about this author