Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls is my all time favorite family read aloud. To me, it's a classic. It makes me laugh, cry, be kinder and hug my family a little tighter--everything a good book should do.
Jay Berry is a boy with the best dog, and the best grandpa ever. His twin sister Daisy is a pain (though he does feel bad that one of her legs is crippled), and what he really, really wants most in this world is a pony and a .22 gun--though he will never have either because his family is so poor.
However, one summer a bunch of monkeys from a circus escapes from a train wreck and the reward money is enough to make Jay Berry determined to catch them. But the monkeys are equally determined not to be caught! This book will have you roaring with laughter when the monkeys outsmart Jay Berry again and again, while Grandpa will inspire you to be a better mentor. Jay Berry's decision to sacrifice his dream at the end will have you crying so much, it will be hard to finish reading the story. So, so, good.
(Note: there is a low budget movie of the same name. It is based off the book, but is very loose with the story line. My family didn't care for it at all. Just FYI.)
-How does Jay Berry show determination?
-Why is he close to his grandpa?
-What helps Jay Berry keep trying even when he gets discouraged?
-What did Jay Berry discover he loved even more than a new pony?
-Jay Berry was able to help his family. How do you help yours?
-What does sacrifice mean? Do you think Jay Berry's sacrifice was worth it?
-Is sacrifice ever easy or convenient?
Community Question: Which of the monkeys' shenanigans was your favorite?
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