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Summer of the Monkeys

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,120 Ratings  ·  718 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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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteWatership Down by Richard AdamsAnimal Farm by George OrwellBlack Beauty by Anna SewellWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
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Jul 04, 2015 Margitte rated it it was amazing
Oklahoma 1895. A young poor boy with a crippled little sister gets an opportunity to make things better when a group of monkeys escapes a circus wagon accident and he can make money by capturing them again.

The young boy and his dog is in for some laughter and serious life lessons when the monkeys outsmart them on a daily basis. His grampa teaches him the core values in life.

This is a kiddie's book - perhaps for readers up to twelve years of age. For me it was a wonderful, funny, deeply-moving-r
Aug 26, 2013 Patti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
Apr 05, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 20, 2015 Tweety rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 28, 2010 Shauna rated it it was amazing
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
Nan Sprester
Nov 02, 2015 Nan Sprester rated it it was amazing
Summer of the Monkeys is my new favorite book. How in the world was I a school librarian for so many years without reading this book. What a great book for a novel study, for teaching voice, setting, use of language, point of view, etc. I want to run out and read it to somebody right now. Too bad I'm retired. It has a great lesson without being at all preachy. Just a wonderful, wonderful book. I wish Wilson Rawls had written more than two books.

Some of my favorite lines:

It was so still in our ki
April Hochstrasser
Sep 26, 2011 April Hochstrasser rated it really liked it
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
Denia Books and Baubles®
Mar 03, 2016 Denia Books and Baubles® rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-reads
I loved this book. I love reading children classics. And since I work in Barnes and Noble in the kids department, it is very easy for me to find this wonderful reads. Loved this book. Definitively recommend it!!
Lydia West
May 15, 2016 Lydia West rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty quick, easy read. Makes you want to laugh,cry and cheer...sometimes all three at once.
Doug Cannon
Feb 10, 2011 Doug Cannon rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 03, 2013 Lacie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-fiction
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
Stef Milenewicz
Apr 11, 2011 Stef Milenewicz rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 28, 2010 Molly Jae rated it it was amazing
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
Rachelann *Obsessed w/ Rabbits & Zombies*
Soooo much better than the movie.
Brandon Willard
May 31, 2009 Brandon Willard rated it liked it
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
Sep 15, 2013 Beth Hallmark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-outloud
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
Sep 03, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 30, 2013 Madison rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
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
May 30, 2008 Carlyna rated it it was amazing
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 really liked it
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
Oct 06, 2014 Mandy rated it really liked it
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!
Jul 27, 2009 Cindi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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
Jun 25, 2012 T.r. Sune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Troy Farley
Relationship, Life Lessons, Dreams, and Hard Work

I give this book 5 STARS

Book in a nutshell: Relationship, Life Lessons, Dreams, and Hard Work

The same author who wrote "Where the Red Fern Grows" does it again. When you read this book it makes you feel like you are in the Ozark Mountains. I have added this destination to my bucket list after reading this book.

Below are some quotes that I feel summarize what this book is all about.


We can learn a lot from one another. The question is w
Blaise Morita
Nov 15, 2015 Blaise Morita rated it really liked it
Young adult scribe Wilson Rawls was like a hero to me thanks to his dog-obsessed hero Jody from his classic Where the Red Fern Grows. So it was only natural that I would explore his other available titles, and one that resonated in particular was the delightfully sunny Summer of the Monkeys. Compared to the hard daily reality of Ozark life poignantly epitomized in the bittersweet end of Fern, Monkeys takes a noticeably more carefree approach in its commentary about nature and mountain child memo ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Kavli rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 25, 2014 Anthony Hernandez rated it really liked it
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
Sep 07, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing
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
Mark Stevenson
Apr 10, 2014 Mark Stevenson rated it it was amazing
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
My older brother read this book in school back in the day (probably 5th or 6th grade) and seemed to like it a lot. He recommended it to me at the time, but I didn't read it because I assumed I would read it in school too in a few years, and then by the time I got into that grade the reading list had changed. I've toyed with the idea of picking it up off and on over the years, but I was a bit hesitant, because a big part of my brother's original reason for recommending it was "there's a character ...more
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USA Geography Cha...: Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls 1 4 Dec 29, 2014 06:57AM  
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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 United 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
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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.”
“Daisy smiled and said, “Jay Berry, you won’t die. You may think you will, but you won’t. In a day or two, you’ll be as good as new, I hope.” “You’re just saying that because you heard Papa say it,” I said. “No, I’m not!” Daisy said. “I’m saying it because I’m a nurse, and nurses are supposed to cheer up their patients.” I knew all too well that once Daisy had gotten into one of her Red Cross nursing spells, it was ridiculous to even think of trying to argue her out of it. So I just groaned, closed my eyes, and sat there while” 2 likes
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