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Honestly, there were times I couldn't see the page through the tears. BEST book . .

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I've read in a long time . . . maybe EVER!


Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls (of Where the Red Fern Grows fame). http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Monkeys-SUMMER-MONKEYS-Paperback/dp/B002G7NADO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1287874207&sr=8-2


So much action with romp of a story, magnificent description, so very, very, touching.


I just loved it!


It's a quick mover, too. My daughter read it in an afternoon (took me a couple of afternoons -- darn laundry).


I can say I'm sorry I've read it b/c now I can never again read it for the first time.

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Unfortunately, I think Summer of the Monkeys and Where the Red Fern Grows (another winner) are the only two works by Rawls. They are so good, he didn't need to write more, I guess! If anyone knows of others, please share:)


What a loss; what a tragic, tragic, loss.


Rawls, according to some website or another, wrote at least 5 manuscripts but b/c he was largely uneducated (learned to read from his mom but otherwise didn't have any schooling till high school) his spelling was atrocious. He was ashamed of his spelling errors and never sent the manuscripts to anyone. He saved them for many years but finally burned them b/c he never wanted anyone to see them. :(


Much later, he confessed to his wife all about it and she encouraged him to rewrite one. That was Where the Red Fern Grows. She cleaned up all the spelling and sent it to a publisher. Then he did Summer of the Monkeys. He never did another one after that.


I read that he traveled all over going to schools with his rewritten manuscript to show how bad it was to encourage kids to study hard, stay in school, and dedicate themselves to learning to spell.


I think it's such a tragic loss that we'll never have those other three manuscripts.

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