Summer of the Monkeys
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Summer of the Monkeys

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  6,385 ratings  ·  593 reviews
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 ca...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 29th 1998 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1976)
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Community Reviews

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Patti
“Summer of the Monkeys” is the second of only two books by author Wilson Rawls. I’d always heard it was good, and I thoroughly enjoyed “Where the Red Fern Grows”, so it seemed like a good choice to pull from my ‘to-be-read shelf’.

“Summer of the Monkeys” was better than good, it was absolutely wonderful! (And this comment comes from me, a person not interested in animal stories!) No question, one of the best books I’ve read this summer!

This is a story of a young boy, Jay Berry, growing up many d...more
Stef Milenewicz
I bought this book to read to my 10 year old son. I didnt realize this book would become one of my favorites! I laughed so hard I cried, and I cried so hard I laughed!! Yes my sweet oldest son loved making fun of me! This book is such a wonderful story about a boy that is from a poor family, he goes on an adventure with his dog catching monkeys that got loose from the circus. His relationship with his family is such a great story all in itself, and will make you remember special times with your...more
April Hochstrasser
Set in the late 1800's, this is a story about a young boy named Jay Berry and his run in with a troop of monkeys that have gotten loose in the woods near his home. He tries everything under the sun to capture the monkeys because there is a big reward. The monkeys seem to be able to outwit him at every turn, that is until the night of the big storm.

The author, who also wrote "Where the Red Fern Grows", knows how to keep interest alive. Jay Berry and his loyal dog, Rowdy, learn something about mo...more
Doug Cannon
My kids really enjoy this book. It seems to hit all ages pretty well. I am enjoying it again, and my youngest two (who were bored while reading Seventh Son) are now really enjoying this book. Even my oldest kids enjoy listening in.

Wilson Rawls is a great story teller, and he writes a lot of situations in this book that make the kids laugh out loud. The suspense is great too. The kids hate it when a chapter ends and we might be done for the night. "read on!" they all say.
Michele
Disney ruined this book when they made it into a movie. The novel is vastly different and so much better. A great read aloud that will have you both laughing and crying. I like this book much better than, Where the Red Fern Grows, which the author is more known for.
Lacie
Oooh. I have mixed feelings about this story. It's been sitting on my shelf for years, when it was first recommended to me as a perfect family read-aloud. So, I finally read it. In short, it's a jolly tale of rompin', rollickin' hilarity with just enough negative thrown in to keep it from being the perfect family read-aloud.

The essentials. Meet Jay Berry. It's the late 1800s, and his family is farming on Oklahoma land, poor enough to make a fly weep. They're always struggling to make one end me...more
Brandon Willard
The genre of this book is fiction. I choose this book because it sounded pretty good. Jay Berry Lee lives with his Mom, Dad, and sister in Oklahoma Cherokee Ozark. It takes place during the 1800's. His Grandma and Grandpa live there too. His Grandpa owns a store in Cherokee Ozark. Jay lives on a farm and has a dog named Rowdy. One day he was in the bottoms and Rowdy treed a monkey which Jay had never seen a monkey in the bottoms before. Jay told his family about the monkey. His grandpa told him...more
Beth Hallmark
I read this book to our sons, 12 & 10 years old. We all really enjoyed the story and the boys asked for me to read on to find out what would happen next to John Barry. I also LOVED hearing my boys laugh out loud through out our reading. Not only did it do my heart good, but it also confirmed that they not only were listening, but that they understood the story and the humor. Very rich text, great imagery and grateful for the underlying Christian theme with the "Old Man of the Mountains" char...more
Scott
As I was reorganizing some bookshelves, this childhood favourite was atop a pile on the library table. It enticed me to re-read it, for the first time since elementary school. This copy, given to me by my aunt Rhonda, is inscribed "Scotty Jones 6." I don't think I was quite that young when I actually read it.

Set in Eastern Oklahoma, not far from the area I grew up in, this is the tell of a young boy, Jay Berry and his dog Rowdy who in the late 19th century experience a great adventure one summer...more
Shauna
Summer of the Monkeys is one of my all time favorite books. The time period is in the late 1800's. It is about a 14 year old boy named Jay Berry who lives in the Ozark mountains. His life is full of adventure exploring in the river bottoms. His life is flipped upside down when he finds monkeys in the river bottoms. A train wreck allowed the monkeys to escape from the circus. There is a very large reward for the capture of the monkeys. Jay Berry sets out to capture these monkeys and get enough to...more
Madison
This book is set in the late 1800's on an Oklahoma Farm. It is the story of the Lee family whose son, Jay Berry, goes down to the river to catch some monkeys who got loose from a circus, and makes a bunch of money so that he can get a pony and a .22 like he has always wanted.

Papa works hard all day, Mama cares for the house, Jay Berry hunts, and Daisy has a crippled leg, so she helps Mama around the house, and plays in her treehouse.

I highly recommend this book. Whether to be used as a bedtime s...more
Carlyna
So I'm still reading this book. My husband recommended it to me as a fun quick read...kids book. I actually do like it. It's one of those that you can put down and pick up weeks later and still remember what's going on. Hopefully I will finish it soon; but so far I give it 4 stars!

Ok, I finished the book and loved it. Sure it took me months to read it but it's one of those that you can put down and pick back up without being lost. It's a sweet story of a young boy whose life long dream was to ha...more
Molly Jae
Hands down, this is one of the best books I've ever read. I don't know why I've never read it before and neither have any of my children. Thomas came home from school last week and said he had started it in class. Then I went to a RS night on children's literature and one of my girlfriends there also recommended it. I picked it up and read it in just 3 short sessions, and loved it. This book will make an excellent read aloud with children at about the age of 8 or 9, when they are starting to hav...more
Mitchell
Feb 03, 2009 Mitchell rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: children, dog fans, school teachers, drunk monkeys
Recommended to Mitchell by: Mrs. Jensen
Shelves: dog-books
One of my teacher's in elementary school read this to our class with the predictable result that 80% of the kids hated it and the kids who loved reading already promptly read it on their own. I fell into the second category. I had already seen the movie version of Where the Red Fern Grows which made me bawl like a child. I was in around 4th grade so this was totally appropriate.

Summer of the Monkeys had not tears except tears of laughter. I don't want to spoil too much but there is one spoiler y...more
Cindi
Summer of the Monkeys was my favorite book in third grade. I've been wanting to share it with my own children for some time. I finally ordered it from amazon this summer. I read it aloud to the children while we were in the car on various road trips this summer and during quiet time in the afternoons.

I fell in love with it again and the kids were so interested in the story they often didn't want to get out of the car when we had reached our destination. We finished it last night and my husband...more
T.r. Sune
This is a funny book about a boy who decides to catch some crazy monkeys who escape from a lab. Little does Diddie Collins, the protagonist of the book, know that this band of chimps carry a secret object called the Jasseract: the ability to open a portal to the world of Orangujat, where mystical super-race chimps live. The supporting character in the book Bongy Jong must help the young Collins bottleneck the portable before New Orleans becomes enslaved by a primate monstrosity. This is a great...more
Melarky
I really enjoyed this book. I read this to my 3 boys before bed (ages 7, 5, and 2). The 2 youngest went to sleep pretty quick, but the oldest couldn't get enough of it. One night while reading it, my oldest told me "I love this book, it has everything boys love in it!"

I am currently reading Where the Red Fern Grows to the boys, and I really think so far this is a superior book. The writing is tighter, the story is better, and the general feel is just a more polished work. I'm surprised that Wher...more
Beth A.
Nov 05, 2010 Beth A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Beth A. by: Shauna
Shelves: middle-grade
I really enjoyed this warm children’s story. The characters felt very real; they were fun to get to know and very endearing. I loved the relationships between Jay Berry and his family, and especially the special relationship he had with his grandpa. I also loved the dog, Rowdy. He really did seem to understand everything Jay Berry said. I really liked the values this book portrayed and the really good story it told.
Liz E
I loved reading this book to my kids. It's been a few years so it's probably time to crack it out again. Fun for all kids, without any really scary or sad moments. A few tears at the end, but they are tears of joy. A great book to read a chapter a night before bed. Great for kid book reports too. I got a used copy cheap and it will be used more!
Stefu Smith
It was hard to finish this book--mostly because of the blur in my eyes from...well, you know. This is a book that can change your life. This is a book less about monkeys than about families and miracles. I loved it. You should read it.
Bronson
This is an absolute favorite. I remember reading this when I was young and my son enjoyed it even more than I did. He asks on a regular basis when he can have a horse, a gun and a hound dog named Rowdy. What a fun book.
Liz
I just finished reading this out loud to Jared. We loved it! So full of adventure and intrigue! I'd call it "Little House on the Prairie" for boys but much, much better!
Ridahazam
This book is great and contains a lot of monkey business!!!!
(hee hee!)
Kristal
Set in the late 1800's, this is a story about a young boy named Jay Berry and his summer of the monkeys. He lives in Oklahoma with his family and his faithful dog, Rowdy. One day while exploring, he discovers a troop of monkeys living in the woods. When he tells his grandfather about his discovery, he is informed that a circus has lost them and is paying a reward if they are caught and returned. Two dollars a piece, except for one, whom they will pay one hundred dollars for! Jay Berry decides th...more
Erin
July 2007: I had heard so many good things about this book and was very excited to read this. Thus, the danger of "building up a book". It did not quite meet my expectations that I had created in my mind. I still was a very good read. I read it out loud with my children. It was great to talk about with them.

Update: Read aloud with my 10 year old daughter. I think I liked it better the second time. I love the grandfather. He is so wise. His relationship with Jay is endearing. I want my husband a...more
Victor C
This book is about a boy named Jey Berry and his dog they are a good family but they need money.6 monkeys break out of the circus the manager offers one-hundred dollars for who ever catches the monkeys first well he thinks this is it he will be able to help his family.

The similarities between the leader monkey bobo and Jey are here.First, they are both clever bobo tricks Jey to drink beer and Jey tricks bobo to fall in his trap to capture bobo.Second, they are both brave they don't care what h...more
Maxwell Miller
This is probably the most difficult book to rate that I have ever read. It is a mixed bag of qualities.

This book contains many of the same staples as Wilson Rawls' other book, Where the Red Fern Grows: a boy and his dog in the Ozarks, raised on a farm with mother, father and siter, close to his grandfather who owns a store, follows a plan to make money to purchase somethign that will fulfill his hearts desire, and others. For this reason I just can't give it 5 stars, no matter how good it is on...more
Rachel M
The Summer of the Monkeys had its moments of some comedy, but other than that it was just about a boy trying to catch some monkeys for a reward. When Daisy would yell about what Jay did or got into, it made me feel like telling her to be quiet because she didn’t have to be yelling like that. When Jay was trying to catch the monkeys and Jimbo would outsmart him, Jimbo would laugh causing Jay to get really mad at the monkey and make him feel like shooting Jimbo because he was ruining everything. J...more
Andrea
This was such a refreshing change of pace from the silliness I usually find myself reading. There are so many things I loved. I loved Jay Berry - he reminded me of my own boys and it was a bit enlightening on what boys think of their moms :) I loved envisioning him exploring the river bottoms with his dog. I loved his relationship with his grandparents. I was lucky enough to grow up next door to my grandparents and this book really took my back to those days of running barefoot along the ditch b...more
Jileen
Aug 13, 2009 Jileen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jileen by: Terri
As with many young kids, I had teachers read to the class. There was one book in particular that I really loved but all I remembered about it was a magical ring made of mushrooms, a pony, a playhouse, and a girl with a disability.

Fast forward to a few months ago. My SIL suggested I read Summer of the Monkeys to my boys. I thought it sounded fun and since it was by the same author as "Where the Red Fern Grows" I knew it would probably be good.

I am sure you can tell where this is going...Summer of...more
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Is this like your favorite ever? 1 6 Mar 09, 2014 10:38AM  
Book Review 1 4 Aug 18, 2013 06:26PM  
How can the movie be so different? 1 4 May 10, 2013 01:24PM  
Summer of the Monkeys 3 15 Mar 07, 2012 07:38PM  
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Wilson Rawls was born on September 24, 1913, in the Ozark country of Scraper, Oklahoma. His mother home-schooled her children, and after Rawls read Jack London's canine-centered tale Call of the Wild, he decided to become a writer.

But the Great Depression hit the Unites States in 1929, and Rawls left home to find work. His family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1935, and he came home each fal...more
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“Son, that's a pretty hard question to answer. But I do believe that any wish you make can come true if you help the wish. I don't think that the Lord meant for our lives to be so simple and easy that every time we wanted something, all we had to do was wish for it and we'd get it. I don't believe that at all. If that were true, there would be a lot of lazy people in this old world. No one would be working. Everyone would be wishing for what they needed or wanted.
"Papa," I asked, "how can you help a wish?"
"Oh, there are a lot of ways," Papa said. "Hard work, faith, patience, and determination. I think prayer and really believing in your wish can help more than anything else.”
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