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Mercy on These Teenage Chimps
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Mercy on These Teenage Chimps

2.99  ·  Rating Details ·  151 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
On his thirteenth birthday, Ronnie woke up feeling like a chimp--all long armed, big eared, and gangly. He's been muddling through each gawky day since. Now his best friend, Joey, has turned thirteen, too--and after Joey humiliates himself in front of a cute girl, he climbs a tree and refuses to come down. So Ronnie sets out to woo the girl on Joey's behalf. After all, ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Wardrip
Dec 22, 2011 Jennifer Wardrip rated it liked it
Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

How many books capture the angst of the teenage girl--her changing body, her constant mood swings, her unpredictable complexion and her yearning for attention from the boy of her dreams? Hundreds? Thousands?

Now, how many books take the opposite point of view--how many books go into the mind of the teenage boy and capture his frustration with his seemingly disproportionate body? His struggles to understand the "crooked road" that is life(p. 123)
...more
ACS Librarian
There 19s a great storyline here. Lots of funny moments. Lots of sweet, sincere moments too. This book would be perfect, if not for the fact that the narrator sounds too much like a middle-aged writer trying to sound like a middle schooler.

Ronnie Gonzalez is 13, and coming to terms with the fact that he feels like a chimpanzee. His ears stick out, his legs are too short 13 making his arms extend below his knees, he likes bananas a lot, and he smells bad after only a few hours of running around
...more
Int'l librarian
There’s a great storyline here. Lots of funny moments. Lots of sweet, sincere moments too. This book would be perfect, if not for the fact that the narrator sounds too much like a middle-aged writer trying to sound like a middle schooler.

Ronnie Gonzalez is 13, and coming to terms with the fact that he feels like a chimpanzee. His ears stick out, his legs are too short – making his arms extend below his knees, he likes bananas a lot, and he smells bad after only a few hours of running around pla
...more
Michelle
Apr 19, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: required
I really could not get into this book. I started reading it and had to put it down. I ended up only reading a couple chapters of this book because I really could not get into it. I think if the book was about two girls and not two boys I may have been more interested although I don’t know.
Summary: Mercy on These Teenage Chimps is about two friends, Ronnie and Joey. They have both just turned thirteen and Ronnie has started experiencing some chimp like abilities. It’s about the friendship of thes
...more
Educating Drew
Dec 17, 2011 Educating Drew rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades, 2010
Joey and Ronaldo are besties. They've known each other forever and hang out every day. They just turned thirteen and the craziest thing happened - they've turned into chimps. Okay. Well, not for realz chimps. But they sure as heck feel like chimps. You see, it's more figuratively speaking. Puberty onset, arms appear longer than body, ears stick out just so, the whole nine yards. And then the worst thing possible could happen: Joey gets embarrassed in front of his dream girl.

"Quit acting like suc
...more
Carissa
Apr 28, 2008 Carissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, juvenile
another favoreads contender. this one features a hispanic protagonist who is smack dab in the middle of that most awkward of adolescent stages–the magic months when he morphs from a boy to a teenager. he and his friend bemoan the fact that their arms are so long while their legs still haven’t grown to match, the fact that their ears stick out and acne is blooming on their faces, and just their general awkwardness. the friend rescues a balloon from the rafters of the gym for a pretty girl and the ...more
Sherrie
Jun 20, 2010 Sherrie rated it it was ok
This is the 6th of the 15 Sunshine State Young Reader Award (SSYRA) books for 6th to 8th grade that I've read this summer. I rated this one at 2 stars, I suspect that it's included in the SSYRA list for this year due to it's teen boy protagonists and the fact that it's a VERY quick read. The story is almost unbearably thin- two thirteen year old boys decide that their changing bodies and emotions have turned them into chimps. One boy climbs a tree after an embarrassing encounter with a girl and ...more
Lana Tessler
Aug 13, 2011 Lana Tessler rated it liked it
In Mrs. Tessler's Class: Fitting in

Short and a fast read, this centers on the emotional revolutions of two seventh graders going through the "awkward" phase of turning into teenagers. The main character goes on a quest to help his best friend and fellow "chimp" overcome humiliations and on the way earns a great deal of respect for being compassionate and caring. There's some beautiful moments in the book - my favorites are the boy dealing with his previously insulting coach and finding out the c
...more
Whitney
Jun 14, 2010 Whitney rated it it was ok
Shelves: eng-420
This is the story of two young boys named Ronnie and Joey who have hit puberty and they think they have turned into chimps. They suddenly need to shower, their arms hang down by their knees, and they are interested in girls. When Joey is humiliated in front of the prettiest girl he's ever seen he climbs a tree and wont come down. Ronnie tries to save his friend's reputation while learning more about himself.
This is a funny insight into the new and exciting life of puberty and what every male ha
...more
Lana
Jul 04, 2010 Lana rated it liked it
Short and a fast read, this centers on the emotional revolutions of two seventh graders going through the "awkward" phase of turning into teenagers. The main character goes on a quest to help his best friend and fellow "chimp" overcome humiliations and on the way earns a great deal of respect for being compassionate and caring. There's some beautiful moments in the book - my favorites are the boy dealing with his previously insulting coach and finding out the coach has feelings as well - but I ...more
Madison Godfrey
Apr 30, 2014 Madison Godfrey rated it really liked it
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this book. This book recounts the lives of Ronnie and Joey, who wake up on their thirteenth birthdays and find out they are chimpanzees. Not literally of course, but the two friends may as well be with all the monkey business that goes on. I really enjoyed how even at the age of thirteen they are still able to have beautiful and creative imaginations. Sometimes it is perceived that by the age of thirteen you should begin to grow up and become ...more
Leigh
Aug 04, 2010 Leigh rated it it was ok
This book irritated me. The two boys in this story decide that they now, as a result of puberty, look like chimps. The resulting imagery and direct metaphors would be fine -- except that the chimp comparisons are apparently known to everyone in their town. Everywhere this kid goes, he bumps into someone who makes fun of his monkey/chimp-like appearance. It seems highly unlikely to me that his whole town is in on this comparison. So, instead of enjoying the premise of the story (which really was ...more
Sung Kim
Aug 09, 2016 Sung Kim rated it liked it
The story that I read during the summer taught me how teenage life is a hard challenge to everyone. Ronnie and Joey were humiliated to turn as teenage chimps at first, which could be embarrassed for having a different appearance. However, I was glad how they became confidential with their looks. It was not only from the boys' effort but also from the strong friendship of their peers. I learned that complexity is not what teens should suffer from but should be relaxed by the understanding ...more
Beckster
Jul 10, 2008 Beckster rated it liked it
This book is pretty coool... I am finishing it up for my summer reading assignment in school. =)

It's about two best friends. One of them, Joey, is depressed about something that happened to him and embarrassed him in front of the girl he loved. Now he wants to live in a tree in his front yard and says he will never get down. His best friend will do anything to help him get down from the tree and claim his lost love again.
Kari
Mar 17, 2009 Kari rated it really liked it
With wacky humor, Soto tells a fun middle-grade boy story about Ronnie and Joey, who feel that since they've turned thirteen they've become awkward, long-armed, big-eared, apple-and-banana-eating, chimps. When Joey is humiliated in front of a special girl he decides to live in a tree - as the ugly chimp that he is. Ronnie is determined to rescue his friend by finding this special girl and pleading Ronnie's case. His journey takes quirky twists and turns with a satisfying resolution.
Gina Hernandez
May 19, 2014 Gina Hernandez is currently reading it
I read this book and I felt really dumb. At first I didn't get it, but as I got further into it I realized that the boys weren't actually "chimps." As I kept reading I noticed that it was like a metaphor. They were "chimps" as in like their bodies were changing because of puberty. So the so called "chimps" we're just hairy boys hitting puberty.
Derrick Scott
This book is about kids named Ronnie and Joey. They reach the teen age years and start feeling like "monkeys". They have longer arms, the climb trees, and start growing facial hair. They go through life going through starting to like girls and they can't get any. I would recommend this book to kids because it's funny. It's funny in a childish way
Kevin
Jan 21, 2015 Kevin rated it it was ok
I didn't really enjoy this book very much. I thought the characters were very flat and boring. I also thought the plot was very anti climactic. The events in the story were redundant and not very intriguing. Several events were completely irrelevant to the story. I found it boring and it plodded along until the very predictable end.
Diana Welsch
May 24, 2009 Diana Welsch rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book was written at a much lower reading level than the Gary Soto books that I'm used to, and that made it much less enjoyable. The sentences were short and the dialogue seemed dumbed-down. The plot was charming enough, but that lyrical quality that makes Soto so very worth reading was just not there.
Kellee
A coming of age story!

Ronnie and his friend Joey have turned thirteen and all of a sudden everything has changed: they are chimps (Ronnie's way of describing how they are changing). The story deals with a few days in the boys life right after their birthdays. Joey has decided to live in a tree and never come down, so Ronnie has to fix everything so Joey will go back to his normal life.
Brooks Broumand
May 31, 2016 Brooks Broumand rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this book. This is a book that combines humor and life issues. This book is a great book that I would recommend to people for those who want to have some humor in a book. One of my favorite parts is the ending when the 4 main characters are finally happy and settle everything. If I wanted to read this book again, I would read it again.
Ashley
I'm beginning to question the selection process for sunshine state books. This was real dumb. About a boy going through puberty, sort of. The writing was bad, the plot was dumb, at least it was short. It was incredibly repetative. Felt more j fic than YA. The constant referencing of chimps, monkeys, and bananas was total overkill.
Erin
Sep 10, 2010 Erin rated it liked it
Soto likens puberty and adolescence to being a chimpanzee. This is a quick read that I believe will especially appeal to young boys. The dialogue and characterization make the story very relatable to teenage culture.
Dawn
Jul 08, 2010 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: ssyra-2010-11
This book is seriously funny, especially when you have a thirteen year old boy living in your house. Started off really strong, but it got kinda sappy at the end.
Lena
Jul 31, 2013 Lena rated it it was amazing
Read this book about the same time I read "the afterlife" another one of Gary soto's books. It had a school setting and was pretty cool. Don't judge a book by its cover...or the title
Laura
Jan 08, 2011 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: loathe
Initial thoughts after reading (found in a notebook): Not as bad as The Afterlife, but still pretty pointless.
Kimberly
Jul 12, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was ok
Shelves: bob2011
i thought this would be an entertaining read. however, it felt like the main character was way to self-aware. honestly, felt like how adults WANT teens to think. annoyingly distract. :-(
Trish
Aug 09, 2008 Trish rated it did not like it
Maybe it's because I'm not a teenage boy, but I didn't enjoy this book - I didn't get it and it just annoyed me the whole time.
Ashley
Ashley rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2012
Melisa
Melisa rated it did not like it
Dec 11, 2012
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Gary Soto, born April 12, 1952, was raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults, most notably New and Selected Poems, a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry International, and Poetry, which

has honored him w
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More about Gary Soto...

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