About the Book
Author: Jeff Weiss
Genre: Children's Fiction
Number of Pages: 289
Release Date: December 5, 2013
Synopsis: On a zoo sleepover, Ivan Zelinka gets mixed up with a couple of semi-mad scientists who inject his leg with top-secret gorilla serum. Soon the muscles on his right leg are bulging and his skin is covered with thick black hair. Most high school students would be horrified by such a transformation.
But did I tell you that he’s the place kicker on his high school football team?
Horror gives way to delight as Ivan finds himself booting fifty-yard field goals and punting the ball into the stratosphere. The Bulldogs are winning for the first time in their history. Ivan’s dating the adorable Kipper Swanson. And the fans love him. He’s even got his own cheer, which fans chant when he lines up to kick: “Boomer, Boomer, ooh, aah!”
But on the flip side, he’s worried about turning into a full-fledged gorilla. Goodbye, Boomer. Hello, Gorilla Boy. And the scientist who’s supposed to be working on a cure is a behemoth named Elko. When Elko’s not threatening to crush someone into a ball or spray them with his personal blend of knockout gas, he’s betting on football - including Ivan’s high school games.
By the big game, Ivan must decide whether to fully transform himself into Boomer or return to being plain old Ivan. Fourth and Ape is a great read for sports fans or anyone loves a funny, quirky adventure story.
What others are saying...
"A great plot. Simple declarative sentences. Fabulous for kids that don't read enough. The subject and the writing can lure them in and help make them life-long readers." - Amazon Reviewer
"This book is a fun read for boys (and maybe a girl or two) between the ages of 9 and 12. What's cool about this book is that it's a fun story about a character whose body is going through a lot of changes very fast, and it's written in a refreshingly kid-centric style." - Emily Popper
"The story is compelling and original, the writing intelligent and appealing, and the characters completely endearing. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, young or old. Five stars all around!" - Amazon Reviewer
About the Author
Ah, the smell of the sea!
Speaking of the sea, one day I was jogging barefoot on the beach. I was a little worried because the beach was littered with dinner-plate-sized jellyfish. I asked a nearby surfer if the jellyfish were the type that stung. He said they stung, but only a little bit.
"What do you mean by 'Only a little bit,'" I asked.
"Let me put it this way," he said. "The other day I was out here with a bunch of my buddies. We were sitting on our boards, waiting for a good wave." He pointed at a jellyfish near where we were standing. "One of these were floating nearby, so I grabbed it and put it on top my head like it was a lady's hat."
I no longer worry about stepping on jellyfish on that beach.
I got the idea for "Fourth and Ape" at the dinner table. The inspiration was my son. He refused to eat his vegetables, so I made up the story to distract him. My Uncle John - to whom this book is dedicated - used to make up stories to tell his nieces and nephews. They were mostly ghost stories.
In particular, I remember, "Gitchie Goomie, The Tree that Thirsts for Human Blood" By the way, Gitchie Goomie is the Native American word for Lake Superior, but we didn't know that.
On Monday night, rain or shine, I run with the San Francisco Hash House Harriers, which makes a game out of running. It fools me every week! I forget the pain of running and look forward to doing it all over again. The beer and the snacks play a role in re-kindling my enthusiasm.
That's all I will say here, after all, "Brevity is the very soul of wit." Polonius says that to Claudius in Hamlet. Of course, this is a joke because Polonius is an incredible windbag.
Save that tidbit for the next cocktail party. Then - as a favor to me - bring up how much you liked "Fourth and Ape." Enjoy yourself!