Gordo, by Jasper Cooper.
This is a good page-turner for the dark months of February after the blue moon. It’s by the same author as the King of Gems Trilogy, which I quite enjoyed but I consider this much better (only because I’m a little tired of the magic stuff). It’s a stand-alone story that is based on a true event in the 1950s: the first monkey in space. In the story, Jamie, who is 13 years old, befriends a squirrel monkey where he lives. To his amazement, he soon discovers he has the ability to communicate with the monkey and, along with his cousin Rachel, they have a series of adventures with the cheeky Gordo. However, the monkey soon draws the attention of the rich and unscrupulous - people like Mr McMurphy who is the head of Cape Canaveral Space Centre in Florida. Gordo is too valuable to ignore and Jamie and Rachel realise the danger the monkey is in. It’s an unscrupulous world and people aren’t about to let a couple of kids get in the way of the space race...
Gordo is funny and gripping. It is action-packed, but it also makes a point. Even if the themes have been explored a few times before, it still seems fresh. The real star is Gordo, so if animals are your child’s thing then this one is perfect. It is also illustrated by the author. I would recommend this book for competent readers of 9+ (although 10-13 is probably ideal).
We recommend this book for both boys and girls and give this book a Yellowbird rating of: