From Publishers Weekly
When her 22-year-old son Ned was seriously injured in a 2005 car accident, Rogers's well-organized life changed forever. Ned suffered spinal cord injury, major brain trauma, and organ damage, and doctors didn't expect him to live. Rogers refuses to give up, her stubborn resolve eventually turning into hope upon learning of Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled. Ned is put on the waiting list for a year, and regains his ability to speak and eat solid food, though severe nerve pain hampers his recovery. Finally he meets Kasey, a capuchin monkey. Rogers's younger daughters see Kasey as a pet, and Rogers envisions "an elaborate Golden Monkey Myth" in which Kasey answers all their prayers. When Kasey moves in for "Monkey Boot Camp," he proves a lively newcomer, upsetting the delicate hierarchy of the home, and Rogers learns more about the proper care, feeding, and bathing of monkeys than she ever imagined. Ned builds a bond with Kasey, the monkey slowly helping him to regain confidence and some physical abilities. Although Rogers's pace slows in spots and she doesn't always avoid cliché, her story is engaging and poignant. (Nov.)
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In this inspirational memoir, supermom Rogers tells the story of her son, Ned, a University of Arizona senior who drives his car into a brick wall and sustains a severe spinal cord injury. Halfway through the book, Kasey arrives. A trained capuchin who loves unclasping jewelry and hates getting baths, Kasey is spunky and adorable but hardly the star of the show. The title should read “Ellen to the Rescue,” because the tale is much more about the mom than the monkey. She moves mountains for her son, even if she can seem obnoxious. For example, she uses her cell phone in the ICU after a nurse asks her not to. Her chronicle is at its best when it focuses on Ned, who takes up the mission of talking to young kids, and warning them to wear helmets and seat belts. In the end, this schmaltzy tale of a therapeutic monkey, a tenacious mom, and a grateful son will make readers more fully appreciate the blessings in their lives. --Karen Springen
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