An inspiring and uplifting memoir about one small-town teacher’s eye-opening travels around the world and his relentless efforts to rescue a chimp in danger.
As a child, Spencer Sekyer’s world was a simple one. He grew up in a small town, where many of his days were spent pursuing his dream of becoming a professional athlete. But when his athletic career ended, he found himself seeking new goals.
Spencer returned to school and became a teacher. Realizing he still had much to learn about the world, Spencer set out to explore its most dangerous areas. He travelled to Sierra Leone to volunteer in a local school, followed by trips to Afghanistan. Each time, Spencer returned home a little wiser, a little more emotionally mature, and a little more ready to give back to a world that had given him so much.
In Duhok, Kurdistan, Spencer’s journey took a new turn. After stumbling into a local zoo, Spencer formed an unlikely bond with Manno, a young chimpanzee who had been kidnapped from his family in central Africa and sold into captivity. Determined to get Manno back to his home, Spencer began to investigate the shadowy, dangerous world of global animal trafficking. Facing resistance at every turn, and with ISIS closing in on Duhok, Spencer finally set in motion an international effort to get his friend to safety, before it was too late. Bursting with compassion, inspiration, and courage, Saving Manno is a testament to the fact that every one of us has the power to change lives and make the world a better place.
Written by Spencer Sekyer and illustrated by Gayashan Elpiyita, Saving Manno is out now in hardback and available to order from the links below, with a paperback edition to follow in May.