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Summer of the Monkeys Paperback – December 29, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jay Berry Lee is happy until the summer he is 14 years old and discovers monkeys living in the creek bottoms near his parents' homestead. Set in the late 1800s, Summer of the Monkeys traces the boy's adventures as he attempts to capture 29 monkeys that have (it turns out) escaped from the circus. With somewhat dubious help from his grandfather, and over the objections of his mother, Jay goes about discovering that monkeys are much smarter and harder to catch than he thought possible. Woven into this story is a second theme about his physically disabled sister and the family's attempts to find money for an operation. As funny and touching as Wilson Rawls's Where the Red Fern Grows, this book will appeal to the young reader who has always wished for the freedom to run wild through the woods with nothing more pressing to do than find another rabbit hole--or escaped monkey. (Ages 12 and older) --Richard Farr --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The last thing a fourteen-year-old boy expects to find along an old Ozark river bottom is a tree full of monkeys. Jay Berry Lee's grandpa had an explanation, of course--as he did for most things. The monkeys had escaped from a traveling circus, and there was a handsome reward in store for anyone who could catch them. Grandpa said there wasn't any animal that couldn't be caught somehow, and Jay Berry started out believing him . . .

But by the end of the "summer of the monkeys," Jay Berry Lee had learned a lot more than he ever bargained for--and not just about monkeys. He learned about faith, and wishes coming true, and knowing what it is you really want. He even learned a little about growing up . . .

This novel, set in rural Oklahoma around the turn of the century, is a heart-warming family story--full of rich detail and delightful characters--about a time and place when miracles were really the simplest of things . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Not First Edit edition (December 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440415802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440415800
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jay Berry is your typical country boy. With his faithful, bluetick hound dog Rowday, Jay Berry delights in roaming the creek bottoms near his home in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. His happy, carefree life takes a sudden turn when he and Rowdy meet up with a troop of escaped circus monkeys out in the woods.

Eager to get the reward for catching the monkeys, Jay Berry enlists the aid of his "old, slow-movin', boy lovin'" grandpa. Together they hatch up some unique plots for capturing the devilish little beasts. But they find out that the monkeys are smarther than they thought -- maybe even smarter than they are.

You'll find yourself laughing out loud at the antics of Jay Berry and his animal friends. But you may also find yourself shedding a tear or two as Jay Berry learns a lesson that shatters a lifetime dream.

In my opinion, Wilson Rawls has written the perfect young adult novel. The mixture of humor, love, family relationships, adventure and magic make for engrossing reading. There is literally never a dull moment in theis wonderful book.
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Format: Paperback
It's the late 1800's and fourteen year old JayBerry Lee is stirring up aload of trouble when he finds out that thirty monkeys have escaped from the circus in the bottom of the Oklahoma Ozarks.The circus is giving two dollars for every monkey he catches and one-hundred dollars for the big monkey,Jimbo.JayBerry figures out that there is no monkey business when it comes to catching monkeys.

I'm not going to lie it took forever to read this book on the account of it was boring at the beginning.And then when I finally got passed the beginning I couldn't put it down.Willson Rawls tells the story very slow but it has a great message.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 5th grade and I loved it. However, a few years ago a movie came out, which saddened me, it left out and changed a lot of the parts that made me love the book. So yes, the book is great. It has adventure, love, sadness, strength, courage, and a remarkable tale of a boy's journey to learn the value of family. But you won't get everything out of the movie. So I encourage you to read the book, you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
Jay Berry Lee, age 14, lives on a farm in the Ozarks. One day, he and his dog, Rowdy, find a poster saying that a circus train crashed and all the monkeys are loose! There is a huge reward for the monkeys, so Jay decides to hunt those monkeys down. Jay has many adventures with the monkeys, because these are no dumb monkeys. These are specially trained circus monkeys, and they have a really smart leader. Jay tries traps and nets, but neither of those work. The monkeys manage to outsmart him and get him in trouble every time. Then there is a huge storm, which changes everything. Jay has a dilemma, though. If he gets the reward money, will he use it to buy himself a horse, or will he give it to his sister to fix her crippled leg?
This book was so cute. I read it on an airplane, and when I got to Montreal, I didn't want to go out and sightsee because I was busy reading this great book. The characters are so deep in this book; you can tell exactly what Jay is feeling and thinking, and you really get to love him. The story is very original, and extremely well written. I have read this book so many times, and I love it more each time. It is funny and loveable, but not shallow at all. This sounds cliche, but it's a real heartwarming story.
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By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought that Summer Of The Monkeys was the best book that I have ever read. I would give it five stars because the author gives you a lot of description and leaves you hanging wondering what is going to happen. He write the book so once you start you can't stop. In the book Jay Berry is hunting for monkeys that have escaped from the circus. The monkeys are so smart that they know what he is going to try to do to trap them. The monkeys are constantly wrecking his traps and his ideas. There is a reward for who ever catches the monkeys. The only thing he wants to buy with the reward is a pony and .22 (a gun). The reward is two hundred dollars. His sister has a disabled leg that she can't use, and it cost two hundred dollars to fix. His grandparents and parents think that it is more important to pay for her. He continues to hunt for the monkeys so that he can get the money. The more he hunts the more trouble the monkeys get him into. I do think it is the best book I have ever read. I think the author does a great job at leaving you hanging. Wilson Rawls' other great book is Where The Red Fern Grows. It is also a great book just like this one! I would highly recommend Summer Of The Monkeys to you.
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Format: Paperback
Wilson Rawls (author of WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS)has done it again, in this delightful tale of a poor family from rural Oklahoma in the early 1900's. Fourteen-year-old Jay Berry Lee lives through incredible events and a rollercoaster of emotions as he comes of age, during one unforgettable summer near the river bottoms in former Cherokee territory.
Much more than a kid-and-his-dog story, this book will make you chuckle and groan with frustration, as Jay and his smart-as-a-coot Grandpa wrack their brains to catch some 30 monkeys which have escaped the circus after a train wreck. Lured on by the generous reward offer, Jay becomes obsessed with trapping the little fellows--in order to achieve a country boy's dream of his own pony and .22 gun. But those simian rascals prove too human-savvy to be caught; time and again they outsmart the best laid plans--all because they are protected by a fiendishly clever chimpanzee.
Then there is Jay's twin sister, Daisy--crippled since birth. Nevertheless she is always cheerful, has a way with animals, tells great stories and teases him mercilessly. Woe to all who fall under her nurturing care, as she dons her Red Cross "uniform" and goes into high nursing mode! Hey, is there really an Old Man of the Mountains, who can cause good or bad luck to a family? This is a warm and fascinating read about setting goals, not giving up easily and the value of family relationships. For kids of all ages, especially if you believe in Fairy Rings...
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