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Summer of the Monkeys

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  7,738 ratings  ·  642 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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“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
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.
Sep 25, 2014 Tweety rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
I cannot believe I had never even heard of this till three days ago. All I can say is to everyone is read it. Young, Old, Middle Aged, read it.

Jay Berry is a Huckleberry Finn character, but instead of a river to get him into trouble he has a summer of monkeys that turn his world around and his family with him. He has a pretty awful time of it. What with monkeys running around and his sister's teasing.

Daisy has an imagination gone wild, she sees The Old Man of the Mountain and uses him to scare
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
So I'm still reading this book. My husband recommended it to me as a fun quick 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
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
This is one of my favorite books of all times! I bawled as much in this one as "Where the Red Fern Grows," also by Rawls. This is a story of a young boy living in the Ozarks and his adventurous summer trying to capture escaped monkeys. This book teaches some incredible lessons about family relationships. I read it aloud to my children and my seven year old loved it!
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
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
The book was about a boy who really wanted a pony and a gun and learnt all about catching monkeys. His name was Jay Berry and he lived on the Ozark countryside.One regular day while strolling around he finds 29 lost monkeys in some river bottoms.They were worth a big amount of money. Each monkey is worth 2 dollars but one special one is worth $100! All the monkeys escaped from a circus train that crashed, and the owners of the circus would pay him a fortune!. He needed to catch those monkeys. He ...more
Anthony Hernandez
The first time I read Wilson Rawls’ Summer of the Monkeys, I was intrigued by the story of this novel. This fictional novel is a very compelling book which Yearling published. At first, I thought this novel was going to be boring and subtle, but now I think that this novel was very compelling and intriguing. The novel is about a boy named Jay Berry Lee and his connection with a number of monkeys which escaped from a circus. The circus from which the monkeys escaped rewarded the person who finds ...more
In third grade my teacher said she was going to read this book to is. "Oh boy," I thought, " a boy book to keep the boys entertained. Ugh." And then I listened with rapt attention the entire time she read. I remember laughing and loving it so much I told my family all about it.

But I never read it again. Don't ask me why, I really don't know.

This summer I wanted to share it with my kids. I borrowed it from the library and got to it. We read a chapter or maybe two every few days. I was thrilled w
I can't stand the book jacket pictured above--When publishers use movie posters for their covers, the book looks like it was written after the movie, like those cheap Star Wars books. Even Winnie the Pooh books that use A.A. Milne's original words are ruined when accompanied by Disney illustrations. So I was very careful to purchase an edition of "Summer of the Monkeys" that predated the movie.

The photo above might be the only reason for a four-star review instead of a five-star one. I love thi
Mark Stevenson
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
There are many great things about this story: the relationship between the boy and his grandfather and the beauty of self-sacrifice and perseverance and loving one another. Get the tissues! You'll cry! But, talk about convoluted faith--the author's mixing of Christ and an "Old Man of the Mountain" and prayers and wishes and fairy rings was frustrating and disappointing and left me not liking this book as much as I expected to.
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!
Angela Larsen
Read aloud with my 7 and 9 year old boys in a southern accent and we all loved it! Entertaining, well written, good message, loved the relationship between Jay Berry and his grandpa, great message about being selfless. We all cried happy/sad tears in the ending chapters.
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.
What a touching story! I read this because it's included in our homeschool curriculum for my 12 year old next year. I think he'll love the silly monkey story line, but I really hope he picks up on the more subtle life lessons...hope, perseverance, hard work, love, selflessness, and the importance of family.

There were a few things that annoyed me about the book: attitudes toward women, the crippled, and animals. And then there's the invisible man and fairy rings. Ugh! These things didn't annoy m
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.
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USA Geography Cha...: Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls 1 2 Dec 29, 2014 06:57AM  
What's The Name o...: YA: Boy finds abandoned circus train full of monkeys [s] 8 27 Aug 29, 2014 08:21AM  
Is this like your favorite ever? 1 6 Mar 09, 2014 10:38AM  
Book Review 1 4 Aug 18, 2013 06:26PM  
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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 about Wilson Rawls...
Where the Red Fern Grows Where the Red Fern Grows with Related Readings, Study Guide (Glencoe Literature Library, Grade 7)

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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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