Author: Wegelius, Jakob
When her best friend, the sailor Henry Koskela, is falsely accused of murder, a gorilla named Sally Jones visits the run-down docks of Lisbon, embarks on a dizzying journey across the seven seas, and calls on the Maharaja of Bhapur's magnificent court--all in an attempt to clear Henry's name.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.40
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 188263
School Library Journal (11/00/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2016 *Starred Review* Sally Jones is an engineer, a shipmate, a friend, and a gorilla. Though she understands English, she doesn’t speak it, and many people assume she is just another animal. Sally Jones and her constant companion, Captain Henry Koskela (called the Chief), made many sea voyages until a stop in Lisbon results in the Chief being imprisoned for the murder of a man named Alphonse Morro. Alone and devastated by his loss, Sally Jones is taken in by Ana Molina, a young singer, and begins to piece together the events that led to the Chief’s imprisonment. Determined to prove his innocence, Sally Jones begins a journey that will last several years and span multiple countries: from Lisbon, she travels as far as India in search of clues about the mysterious Alphonse Morro, who may not be dead after all. Though she meets many unsavory characters and is often threatened with zoos, her talent with machinery, resourcefulness, and enduring goodwill see her through. This story was originally published in Sweden to great critical acclaim, and numerous black-and-white drawings throughout add to its unusual appeal. For American readers, this will have a distinctly old-fashioned feel. While the sheer length and thoughtful pace of Sally Jones’ journey might discourage some, those who persevere will have a richly imagined and thoroughly unique adventure in store. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 Gr 4–8—An engagingly accessible but quirky mystery featuring a gorilla named Sally Jones who not only narrates the story but can also read and write. She just doesn't talk. Sally Jones is an engineer working for Chief Koskela on his ship, the Hudson Queen, in this suspenseful and well-plotted adventure. In Lisbon, Portugal, while carrying what they think is a crate of tiles, Sally Jones and the Chief are attacked by robbers, and the ship is sunk. Things go from bad to worse when the Chief is shortly thereafter arrested for the murder of the man who hired them to transport the cargo. Sally Jones is on her own, decried by passersby as "the murderer's gorilla." Attracted to the music of a factory worker named Ana Molina, Sally Jones forges a new life but is determined to prove the Chief's innocence. It's her ability to work mechanical miracles—even with accordions—and her hard work ethic that help her find friends who support her on her quest for answers. A circuitous journey leads her to India and a completely fabulous maharaja. All events occur in the early part of the 20th century, when cars, planes, and typewriters were newfangled inventions. The book has been translated from Swedish and contains a series of portraits of the main cast of characters filling the opening pages, and there is surprisingly little to deter readers from immediately falling for Sally Jones and eagerly cheering her on. There are moments that are a little over-the-top or stereotypical, such as the abilities of the ape, the maharaja's wealth, and Ana's captivating voice. A new animal heroine has arrived on the scene, and while she may not rival Charlotte for her wisdom, her writing is just as engaging and her persistent loyalty equally admirable. VERDICT An unusual and oddly charming adventure. A solid purchase for medium to large middle grade collections.—Carol A. Edwards, formerly at Denver Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.