Hurt Go Happy

Book review by Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Hurt Go Happy Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Award-winner faces tough topic of animal testing.

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 9 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 15+

Had potential, but poorly done animal rights plot

The characters of Joey and her family and the way they grow in this book felt very real. However, I felt that Sukari (the chimpanzee) and her plotline was not very believable. It read like a poorly thought out rip off of Kenneth Oppel's Half Brother, with a lot more fridge logic issues. In real life, language trained chimps don't belong to random old guys in the woods, but instead are raised by graduate students working with a university. They certainly don't get willed to teenagers, especially disabled teenagers. There isn't a huge excess of chimps, either, and zoos are actually trying pretty hard to breed them. And most language trained chimps have never been sent to a medical research laboratory, so why does every book have to go there? The overall impression is that Sukari is just a tool to deliver the author's ham-fisted animal rights message. I think the story could have been much better if a) Charlie was part of a research team rather than some weirdo rich loner, b) Sukari didn't end up willed to Joey or in a medical research laboratory. Instead, the story could have focused more on Joey's adjustment to attending a signing Deaf school as an oral Deaf kid, which would have been a much more interesting and original storyline than some ridiculous 'teenager travels cross-country to rescue a language trained ape' plotline. Sukari could have been the inspiration for a career in primatology, rather than the vehicle for a poorly done and simplistic animal rights message.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 9+

AWESOME

*************I REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK IT ACTUALLY MADE MY CHILD CRY. HA HA HA WHEN I ASKED HER SHE SAID BECAUSE TIS BOOK IS REALLY GOOD. I THINK THIS BOOK WOULD BE GOOD FOR CHILDEN MAYBE 10 AND UP REALLY REALLY GOOD AFTER MY DAUGHTER READ IT I DID THE BOOK HAD THE CAME EFFECT ON ME AS IT DID OF MY DAUGHTER*************************

Book Details

  • Author: Ginny Rorby
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Publication date: August 1, 2006
  • Number of pages: 267
  • Last updated: June 29, 2015

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