April 2014, Templar, 240 pages, Paperback, review copy
Themes: coping with illness, brothers, belonging, adventure, a monkey, beanie hat, healthy eating, deception
Content: some moderate to major peril, lots of tension,and humour, tissue needed
Summary from Templar
Beanie's coping with more than most kids his age, including treatment for leukaemia. But Beanie just wants to be part of his big brother's gang. To show he's got what it takes, Beanie braves a scary deserted house where he finds a young chimpanzee. But where did Malcolm the chimp come from and who are the sinister men pursuing him?
I feel it necessary to state that there is a happy end for the two friends who, according to nature, are only 2% different from each other-it's an unexpected end, with a great twist. There was more tension than I'd expected, but that's no bad thing because I just kept on reading. Aside from a few moments when I glazed over a little because I sometimes struggle with understanding the male mind (which is why it's a 9/10E read), I was hooked by Beanie's tale. I was desperate for more info about his medical condition, which isn't made obvious for part of the story, but the focus was on how he found his new friend and the extraordinary methods he, his brother and their friends take to keep Malcolm safe.
Beanie does a lot of crazy, dangerous things which as an adult I was mentally yelling 'what are doing?' but which a lot of readers will find cool. I was moved to tears by some of the things Beanie's brother and friends did- they really care for him even if they try and push him away. His parents made me cry because they do an ace job of making Beanie's life as good as it can be which is heartwarming to read about. I loved Tracey, a new friend of Beanie's who becomes a crucial part of Malcolm's protection team, and who I'd love to know more about.
Find out more on David's website. (The home page doesn't instantly look he's the right author but you just have to go through to the books section to find Monkey & Me)
Another tale about a monkey involving a girl is Heart of Danger by Eliot Schrefer (Children's, 10 years +, 10E/10E)