"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Monday, December 18, 2017

Book vs. Movie Review: Summer of the Monkeys

Here I am for my third update for Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge! Here are update one, and update two.

I actually cheated here, I watched the movie first. But, which is better? Read on.

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless it says so.

'"That's the place," Grandpa said. "I don't care what kind of a problem a man has, he can always find the answer to it in a library."'

Summer of the Monkeys - by Wilson Rawls:
'I got mixed up with a bunch of monkeys, and all of my happiness flew right out the window.'
Jay Berry is living with a poor family. His twin sister, Daisy, has a crippled leg and can't do all the things he wants to do. When he hears of a reward for 30 escaped monkey from a circus, he decides he wants to catch those monkeys and get the pony and gun he has always wanted. It's a good idea, but those monkeys don't want to be caught.
"Daisy says that the Old Man of the Mountains is taking care of everything in the hills. If he is, he must have worked a long time in painting that picture."
Note: Okay, before I get started on the review, can we just appreciate to beauty of this book? While the movie took out some of the "iffy" parts, they also took some of the good. This book is so amazingly beautiful, I cried at parts.
'It made me feel like I had just been born and had to live my whole life again.'
Genre: Fiction, (I'm not really sure, can anyone else come up with something better?)
'Even the little speckled tree frogs, the katydids, and the crickets were chipping in with their nickel's worth of welcome music.'
Characters: 10, they are so amazing, the lessons they learn and how they change... wonderful!
My favorites:
Daisy: She is amazing (sorry I keep repeating, but my vocabulary is low today), she is so kind. 'Her blue eyes were as bright as the morning star and a warm smile tugged at her lips.'
Jay Berry: I love how his character progresses.
Grandpa: I never got to meet either of my grandpas, but I feel like he would have been like my grandpa on my mom's side.
'Grandpa was having a hard time holding back a good laugh.'
Words: 9, uh, there is sort of a bad one. (I wrote this in my notes but don't remember what it means. Sorry).
'If you closed your eyes, and filled your lungs full of that sweet-smelling stuff, your head would get as light as a hummingbird's feather and feel as if it was going to sail away by itself.'
Quotes: 10!!! Read this, please:
'"There is one thing I know. All little children who are crippled can see things and hear things that you and I can never see or hear. I think the Lord has something to do with this. It could be His way of showing them mercy."
"That's what Mama told me," I said. "She thinks that the Old Man of the Mountains is a spirit, do you think he's a spirit?"
Papa thought for a second. "Your mother could be right," he said. "What Daisy is seeing could be the spirit of Christ. Lots of people have seen His spirit; especially, those in pain or deep trouble. It happens every day somewhere in the world."'
Isn't it so beautiful?
Storyline: 8, there is drinking(but it shows it is bad), smoking, and other blah. But, it is so incredibly wonderful.
'"If a fellow didn't dream and have hope," he said, "life would sure be miserable."'
Good For: Those who are different, those who want something, EVERYONE.
'Thousands of lightning bugs were dancing a flickering rhythm all around us.'
Overall Score: 9.5
'It was so still in our kitchen you could have heard a dream walking.'


Summer of the Monkeys (1998):
Based on the book by Wilson Rawls:
"I thought I heard you say you saw a monkey in the river bottoms."
Jay Berry dreams of getting a pony named Annie. Having to watch his sister, and help his father, he doesn't think he will have enough time to work at his grandpa's store. Hearing about four escaped monkeys and the reward for them, he sets off to the bottoms to trap them before Toby, the bully, does.
"You're only digging yourself a deeper hole."
Genre: Adventure drama.
Length: approx. 101 minutes.
Costumes: 8, they work well for the time frame. Those monkey's costumes are so fancy!
Script: 10, no bad words!
"I bet they did, that's why they print those ya know."
Directed by: Michael Anderson
Produced by: David Doerksen
Written by:
Wilson Rawls (book)
Greg Taylor
Jim Strain
Starring: 7
Corey Sevier as Jay Berry Lee.
"What's it feel like?"
"Like I'm flying."
Katie Stuart as Daisy, she was a good actress for Daisy, but she didn't look like Daisy. She was too young and her eyes were brown.
Michael Ontkean as John Lee.
Leslie Hope as Sarah Lee.
Wilford Brimley as Grandpa.
Don Francks as Mr. Hatcher.
Music: 7.
Music by: George Blondheim
Cinematography: Michael Storey
Quotes: 7, they took out the really great ones from the book.
"You just grew ten feet tall in my eyes."
Storyline: 6, there is death, and drinking.
They did a lot of things to it, but the things that stick out are:
They cut:
Monkeys! In the book there are 30 monkeys, in this movie there are 4!
And they added:
Mr. Hatcher (who is he?)
Good For: Families, People who feel different.
Overall Score: 7

The book wins!

Thanks again to Heidi for hosting this challenge!! (And, on my sidebar, that game is still open!)



  1. I loved this book! Cool to see that there's someone else who's heard of it!

    1. Yay! Summer of the Monkeys fans unite!!! Thanks for your comment, Faith!

  2. I haven't heard of this book (or movie) before. Enjoyed reading your review, though. :)

    1. It was actually my little sister who told me about it. She saw it with our grandma, then bought the book. I know your to-read list is huge, but you should try it! Thank you! :D

    2. Haha, you got that right! My to-read list consists of about 430+ books...and counting. 😶

    3. Oh yeah, so many books, so little time!!! ;D (Can we freeze time for a minute so we can get these done? ;) )

  3. I've seen the trailer for the movie before, but I honestly thought it looked weird.

    Maybe the reason why they had so few monkeys in the movie is because they either couldn't get 30 trained monkeys or the thought of 30 monkeys running around on set was a little too much to handle (I personally think it was the latter, that just SOUNDS like a recipe for trouble).

    Anyways, loved the reviews, MC!!


    1. When my little sister told me about it I thought it was really weird, too. Monkeys? Are they in a jungle? But it is really good.

      True, but in the book they are smaller monkeys, not as big at these. Small means more craziness. I see what you are saying. Four monkeys are easy to keep undercontrol, but multiple it by 7? That would be crazy!!

      Thank you so much, Catherine!! :D

  4. I read this book years ago, and I remember really liking it!! Daisy was soooo sweet. I've never seen the movie, I don't think even I knew there was a movie! :D great review MC!

    1. It is one of my favorite I've read this year! It is so good to find other people who like it!! Daisy is lovely! I was crying with the parts she is in! The movie is pretty good, it gets the basic points across. Thank you so much, Miss Woodhouse!!! :D


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles