Mercy on These Teenage Chimps by Gary Soto

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On his thirteenth birthday, Ronnie woke up feeling like a chimp--all long armed, big eared, and gangly. He's been muddling through each gawky day since. Now his best friend, Joey, has turned thirteen, too--and after Joey humiliates himself in front of a cute girl, he climbs a tree and refuses to come down. So Ronnie sets out to woo the girl on Joey's behalf. After all, teenage chimps have to stick together.

Acclaimed author Gary Soto tells a fun and touching story about friendship, understanding, and the painful insecurities of being thirteen.


About Gary Soto

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Gary Soto's first book for young readers, Baseball in April and Other Stories, won the California Library Association's Beatty Award and was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. He has since published many novels, short stories, plays, and poetry collections for adults and young people. He lives in Berkeley, California. Visit his website at
Published March 1, 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 161 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mercy on These Teenage Chimps

Kirkus Reviews

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Without including any utterly unlikely events, Soto gives his story a touch of the fantastic that will appeal to young readers caught up in the angst of their own growing pains.

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Publishers Weekly

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The monkey metaphors come fast and furiously: at a sports awards ceremony, Joey climbs up into the rafters of the gym to rescue a balloon belonging to Jessica, a cute girl who has caught his eye (a coach bellows, "What do you think you are?

Jan 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Mercy on These Teenage Chimps

Curled Up With a Good Kid's Book

Ronnie Gonzalez was an average boy until he turned 13, and then the darnedest thing happened.

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