Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey is the first book in the Monkey Me series by by Timothy Roland. This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. Clyde is an energetic kid with trouble sitting still, while his twin sister Claudia is much more grounded. During a museum field trip Clyde eats a banana that has been zapped by lasers. Soon, he starts to feel weird and now every time he gets excited, he changes into a monkey!
Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey is a fun and entertaining story that might be the draw reluctant early readers into reading more just for the fun of it. Clyde and his sister Claudia are twins and fit the basic twin standards- one is smart and follows the rules while the other is a little wild. As the wild one Clyde is very excitable- and after eating a laser zapped banana turns into a monkey whenever he starts feeling overly excited. The story is simply told, silly and exciting, and does not talk down to readers. I think this series just might encourage the newest generation of readers to keep on reading.
I would recommend Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey to new and reluctant readers that are either just starting to read novels on their own or have been struggling with reading. I think many readers will be able to relate with Clyde and enjoy his adventures.