Do You Know the Monkey Man?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Although serious issues are presented in this story for the preteen set, it is written with a light touch showing that although the heroine has problems, life is good and happiness possible. Sam has only the slightest memories of her father and her twin sister, Sarah. Sarah drowned in the quarry when she was only three and her parents were divorced a short time later. After her dad disappeared from their lives, Sam's mother never liked to speak of him. But now that her mom was about to marry Bob, Sam sets out to search for her dad. While Sam likes Bob, she does not want to be adopted by him; after all, she has a father out there somewhere. Sam even consults a psychic who raises doubts about the death of her sister. Despite all this, the story is not dark and depressing, which is admirable, but the ending is a bit pat. While Sam's mother's decision not to take legal action against her ex-husband when the truth comes out may be understandable, she too readily forgives him for allowing her to think that their baby daughter, Sarah, had died. That is too cruel an act to be dismissed—no matter what his motivations. 2005, Peachtree Publishers, Ages 9 to 14.
—Carolyn Mott Ford
VOYA
Samantha, fourteen, is a native of the small Iowa town where she lives with her no-nonsense mother and hangs out with her best and patient friend, Angela. Sam's mother is about to remarry, and although Sam has no real objection to her mother's choice of partners, the marriage itself awakens in her a latent curiosity about her father. The family history, as Sam knows it, is that he disappeared after the accidental drowning death of Sam's twin sister, Sarah, when the girls were three. When Angela's father-divorced and remarried-invites Angela to visit for a week, Sam goes along because she is pretty sure her own father is living close to Angela's. What Sam discovers is incredible: Not only has she successfully tracked down her father, but also he is living with the very much alive-but renamed-Sarah. There is more than coincidence and wish fulfillment in this quick read. The adults and their relationships with the various teens are nicely drawn, with far more realism than the twisting events. Sidekick Angela is a pillar of strength to flighty Sam. Sam herself comes to see how psychologically dangerous for others it can be to pursue one's own wish for satisfaction. There are some odd choices of words here, such as a reference to Sam's mother having gotten herself "knocked up" in a text that is otherwise G-rated. Although not great literature, this story will appeal to girls with a budding interest in how the individual influences family dynamics. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Peachtree, 224p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Francisca Goldsmith
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Samantha was three when her twin sister drowned in the local Iowa quarry and her father left. Now 13, she is determined to investigate the past, because her mother refuses to talk about it. Best friend Angela, not all that happy with her own absentee father, can't see what the big deal is, but is willing to help her in her investigation. Despite the fact that Sam and Angela defy parental authority, cross state lines, navigate public transport, and convince more than one person that the impossible is possible, there's not much detecting going on. The clues fall into Sam's lap. Searching into the past is not an unusual plot in children's books. Still, Butler has a simplicity of narrative voice that makes the story easy to read while reflecting the often-complex emotions of children forced to deal with things that have long been buried. It is the way that the author conveys these emotions that provides the most lingering memories of this fast-paced suspense novel.-Carol A. Edwards, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561453405
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 460,962
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    AWESOME!

    I have read this book twice. It is outstanding. I LOVE a mystery and this is exactly the mysteries I enjoy. Sam has a twin who think is dead but a woman tells her that her twin is alive and she sets out looking for the twin! This is great from start to end.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    i love this book best book ive ever read

    ima 13 year old girl and n 8th grade im not hte type to read but my friend start tellin me about this book nd i liked it so i read it i love it and id recomeend it to anyone. as u can tell if u read this book if u want somthing bad enough u will get it and thats what sam did and im very proud i dont know that i would be able to sneak behind my mothers back but at the same time my parents are still together so i see her side and if i wanted to know my bialogical dad that bad id try to do it but knowing my luck i wouldnt get too far. when i finished this book i didnt want it to end, this author did a very good job on this story. and now that my friend go me reading im trying to get others to read this book! is my top favorite((:

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  • Posted April 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    OMG!!!!

    THIS AS THE BEST BOOK EVER... I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT SAM WOULD GO THROUGH THAT MUCH 2 FIND HER FATHER... I WOULD BE PRETTY SCARED. wELL AND PROUD OF MY SELF. I am only halfway through the book wher Sam met the Physiscan who is telling her sister is still alive.. In the book it says that her sister died when Sam(samantha)was only 3. and when her sister drowned.....thats is only that part i am on.. so.. i cannot tell u bout' the whole book. But it is amazing book.. I got the book of my school book order in the missing persond pack. one was Missing by MacPhail SAnd do you know the monkey man. I like the book so far! And i MIGHT think that you will also like the graveyard book by neil gaiman. This is pretty thrilling also. Hope you enjoy it!

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    Suspense, Drama and Self Discovery

    I loved this book! In the book, 13 year old Sam is going through a rough patch. Her mother, who hasn't been married since Sam was four, is getting remarried. If that isn't hard enough, Sam's at the age where she's Begin to really want to know: What happened to her dad who left years ago? And after a trip to a physic, she is told her sister is not dead. But who should Sam believe? Her mother or some weird lady. When Sam finds some pieces from her mom's (and Sam's) past, Sam is determined to find her dad no matter what it takes. He deserves her some explanation. Sam's journey is suspenseful and makes you want to read more and more with each page! You'll have it finished in a day!<BR/><BR/>This book teaches a lesson in following your heart and opening a door, no one else has dared to open!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome!

    You would stay up and read it all night long!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2008

    The Best Book I Have Ever Read...

    I loved this book...i have not much else to say. It is the most amazing and outstanding book i have ever read. You should read it and I promise you it will not let you down. It is a wonderful book and I hope it wins many awards.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2007

    A Mark Twain Reader

    This book does have some suspensful events and is a pretty good book. The details in this book are great and the story line is good too. Reading the begging was a little boring but the middle was filled with excitment. If you want a REALLY GOOD ENDING don't read this book. If you want an ending go ahead and read it i just wouldn't reckomend it to have and exciting and a good ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2007

    Do you know the monkey man?

    This is the best book I've read since The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.It was so full of mystery and action through the whole thing I stayed up till midnight reading.It takes you on an adventure.A very realistic adventure so much that you feel like your in the story. I wish they would make a movie for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    This was a great book

    This was so intresting. I would reccommend it to anyone. I just kept on reading until my head started to hurt

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2006

    I loved it

    This book is awesome I read it in one day!! I loved the turn paging drama!!! You will love it too make sure you read it .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    Awesome book

    This book is very touching and is wonderful to read. You will love this book...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2006

    This book is so great that it's sad.

    Do You Know the Monkey Man so so great, it's sad, touching, and whatever else. Sam and T.J. are so different.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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