MY CHIMP FRIDAY by Hester Mundis

MY CHIMP FRIDAY

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This mystery/animal/humor/environment story starts off with a bang—make that a chimp! “On a Dark and Noisy Night,” a weird scientist friend of Rachel’s father pounds on their door at 2:00 in the morning and insists they keep his lab chimp for a week while he’s gone. He offers no explanations because it’s TOP SECRET! Rachel, 12, and her brother Jared, 9, immediately adore the chimp, which they name Friday. At first they try to keep Friday secret, but when the scientist is found dead from slipping on a banana peel, Rachel intuitively knows there’s a plot at work. Ensuing events build the tension: someone keeps trying to chimp-nap Friday; Rachel salvages her sabotaged Earth Day project, “Honey, I Shrunk the Habitat,” by using Friday as a live demonstration; Friday’s increasing displays of intelligence—typing BANANA on the computer and solving Rubik’s Cube; and assorted suspicious lurkers around the apartment building. Set in New York’s Upper West Side, Rachel is a contemporary cross between Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy. Her detective antics will have kids speed-reading to solve the mystery. An author’s note substantiates that she raised a chimp in a Manhattan apartment and her experience as a TV comedy writer accounts for the fast pace, pun-filled scenes, and snappy dialogue. The attention-grabbing cover and immensely popular premise will likely have kids going bananas over this fun story that’s ready-made for movie land. (Side note: the page design alternately prints the author’s name and book title on every page—annoying and unnecessary.) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-83837-9
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2002




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