Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Murderer's Ape
Cover of The Murderer's Ape
The Murderer's Ape
"This may be the most charming book I've read all year." —The New York Times
"I don't know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure." —Philip Pullman, internationally bestselling author of The Golden Compass and The Book of Dust
A captivating story about dark truths and heinous crimes as well as unexpected friendships, with detailed black-and-white illustrations throughout. Perfect for fans of Brian Selznick and mystery and detective stories.


Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.

For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.
"This may be the most charming book I've read all year." —The New York Times
"I don't know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure." —Philip Pullman, internationally bestselling author of The Golden Compass and The Book of Dust
A captivating story about dark truths and heinous crimes as well as unexpected friendships, with detailed black-and-white illustrations throughout. Perfect for fans of Brian Selznick and mystery and detective stories.


Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.

For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • JAKOB WEGELIUS is a Swedish writer and illustrator who lives and works in the small village of Mörtfors. In Sweden, he was awarded the August Prize for Best Children's Book and the Nordic Council Children and Young People's Literature Prize for The Murderer's Ape, which is also an International Youth Library White Raven selection. Visit Jakob at jakobwegelius.com.
    About the Translator:
    PETER GRAVES is a translator from the Scandinavian languages and has received many Swedish Academy prizes for his translations.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 31, 2016
    Sally Jones is a top-notch engineer, excels at chess, and exceeds expectations at every turn—that she is a gorilla may be the least interesting thing about her. Working aboard a cargo ship, the Hudson Queen, with her dear friend Chief, Sally Jones is content and safe, but when a job goes awry, Chief lands in prison for murder and only Sally Jones knows he is innocent. Determined to clear his name, the indomitable gorilla forges unexpected friendships, travels countless miles, and barely survives death on numerous occasions. Meticulous black-and-white character illustrations introduce key players at the novel’s start, and spot illustrations adorn the heading of each chapter, offer tempting glimpses of what awaits. Originally published in Sweden and ostensibly typed out by the gorilla on a typewriter, Wegelius’s story is a thrilling adventure, but it’s Sally Jones’s devotion to her friends and poignant observations that set it apart (“Poor Chief,” she thinks after his arrest. “The accident wasn’t his fault, but he would never forgive himself, I knew that”). Prepare to meet the remarkable Sally Jones; you won’t soon forget her. Ages 12–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 1, 2016
    When her friend and partner, the sailor Henry Koskela, is wrongfully imprisoned for murder, Sally Jones works for years to free him. The ape Sally Jones, who can understand speech, respond with nods, write slowly, and play chess, tells her tale by typing on an old Underwood typewriter. Its the tale of the murder of Alphonse Morro, but its far from simple. When Koskela goes to prison for killing Morro (whose bodys not found) after Morro lied to Koskela about the cargo he and Sally Jones were to transport (gunsnot roofing tiles), Sally Jones eventually finds a safe place to stay with singer Ana Molina and her musical-instrumentrepairing landlord, Luigi Fidardo. Thus begins a continent-spanning quest filled with betrayal and intrigue and engineering and music. Set in the very early years of the 20th century, Wegelius award-winning novel won Swedens August Prize for best novel for youth, as did his first book about Sally Jones, not yet published in the United States, and features a complex mystery, an intricately constructed narrative, and deep characters. It has enough adventures for a trilogy at least, but the pacing is slower than modern American adventure novels. Sally Jones is a compelling narrator, and the detailed illustrations by the author add much (and depict a largely white human cast). Short attention spans need not apply, but committed, careful readers will be richly rewarded. (Mystery. 10 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Caldecott Medal winner Paul O. Zelinsky "Slyly funny and poignant . . . a thrilling adventure."
  • The New York Times Book Review "This may be the most charming book I've read all year. It's a challenge to build a story around a protagonist who can't speak, and Wegelius does this skillfully, emphasizing qualities that make us human."
  • Kirkus Reviews, Starred "Features a complex mystery, an intricately constructed narrative, and deep characters. Committed, careful readers will be richly rewarded."
  • Booklist, Starred "A richly imagined and thoroughly unique adventure."
  • PW, Starred "A thrilling adventure. Prepare to meet the remarkable Sally Jones; you won't soon forget her."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 1 titles every 7 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Murderer's Ape
The Murderer's Ape
Jakob Wegelius
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel