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Jennifer S. Holland


Jennifer Holland can tell you amazing stories about unexpected animal bonding around the world, and she has the photos to prove them. A macaque and a kitten? A pit bull who lives with a Siamese cat and baby chicks? A dog and a donkey? Perhaps the need for a good friend is not just a human thing after all.

Holland is a contributing writer for National Geographic and the author of the wildly successful Unlikely Friendships, which spent more than 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also the author of Unlikely Loves, a current bestseller that explores animal attachments that, in human terms, can only be called love. Both of these books introduce readers to scientists, zoologists, and animal caretakers all over the world who help to explain these pairings with their firsthand knowledge.

Some of the most memorable stories from Unlikely Friendships have been rewritten for Unlikely Friendships for Kids, a collection of three chapter books for children.

Jennifer’s insatiable curiosity and sense of adventure have taken her all over the world—flying in zero gravity over the Gulf of Mexico, scuba diving with tiger sharks in the Bahamas, climbing the tallest tree in Costa Rica, and camping out with bushmen in Papua New Guinea. Born in Evanston, Illinois, with a passion for animals and writing almost from birth, she received a B.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. in conservation biology from the University of Maryland.

Holland has spoken to schools, conservation and animal welfare organizations, women’s groups, and institutions such as the Smithsonian and the National Geographic Society. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, dozens of snakes and geckos, and at least two dogs. Her most recent unlikely animal experience: One of her dogs saved the life of her runaway pet chameleon.

Speaking Topics

  • UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS: Exploring the Emotional Life of Animals (For Adults)
  • Meeting Wild Animals Face-to-Face: My Worldwide Adventures Writing About Animals and Conservation (For Adults)
  • UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS: What We Can Learn From Some Amazing Animal Stories (For Kids)
  • Using Your Senses to Write About Nature (For Adults) (For Kids)


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Books by Jennifer S. Holland