The Monkey Who Fell From The Future

The Monkey Who Fell From The Future

By Author / Illustrator

Ross Welford


Science Fiction

Age range(s)



HarperCollins Publishers




Paperback / softback




The hilarious, moving and adventure-packed new novel for readers of 9 and up from Ross Welford, the bestselling and Costa-shortlisted author of Time Travelling with a Hamster

The year is 2425. Centuries after a catastrophic meteor collision, nature has retaken the earth. In a small town in what was once England, young Ocean Mooney and the monkey-owning Duke Smiff have just dug up a 400 year-old tablet computer.  

Meanwhile, in the present day, Thomas Reeve and his genius cousin Kylie create the Time Tablet - a device which they hope will allow them to communicate with the future.  But when the Time Tablet malfunctions live on television, Thomas and Kylie are sucked into the year 2425 - and have only 24 hours to return home, and save the future of humanity...

Find out more from author Ross Welford



The plan was simple; using their genius invention, the Time Tablet, on national television, Thomas and his cousin Kylie were only supposed to make contact with the inhabitants of 2425 to see how life had changed. They definitely weren't supposed to find themselves in a post-apocalyptic society that's barely recognisable as the world they left behind. Yet, that's exactly what happens when things go terribly wrong - in front of Andy and Des live on telly, too. As if that wasn't chaotic enough, 25th century resident Ocean and her monkey companion, Pierre, are then unceremoniously plunged into 2023 - exactly where they'd rather not be ahead of a catastrophic meteor strike. There are now just 24 hours to put things right...

Despite the divide of 402 years (to be exact), the central action of the story takes place within the same geographical area; in and around Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. While Ocean explores her hometown during what she has grown up knowing as the 'Wonder Age', Thomas and Kylie get to grips with the unimaginable fallout from a meteor strike some 21 years in their own future.

Author Ross Welford skilfully creates a world that is both recognisable and dystopian; oddly familiar, and yet unworldly. As Ocean battles to understand strange technologies and people who are desperate for an interview with her, Thomas and Kylie must wrap their heads around getting home AND saving their hometown and planet. Meanwhile, neither party has the ability to communicate with the other, instead relying on Kylie's warning that the Time Tablet will only work twice within 24-hours.  Readers will hold their breaths, as obstacle after obstacle looks set to stop the adventurers in their tracks. Will they ever get home?

The Monkey Who Fell From the Future is filled to the brim with wonderful characters; from those you'll love, such as our time-travelling adventurers and loveable Duke, to those you'll love to hate - none more so than the devilish Pinker. The characters are complemented by a rich landscape, and well-woven narrative that has you focused on every thread. The book's themes of family and friendship are particularly unmistakeable, as first Thomas questions his feelings towards his cousin, Kylie, and Duke then wonders if he'll ever escape his stepfather and be able to choose his own destiny.

Home, too, is a key theme; despite wishing for a glimpse into the future Thomas and Kylie want nothing more than to save everything dear to them, while Ocean and Duke grapple with what it means to be truly home. The book also begs us to think about our own futures, and what a world without technology (as we know it) might look like...

I read The Monkey Who Fell From the Future in just two sittings; a tentative peek to whet my appetite, followed by a marathon during which I couldn't put it down. Ross Welford's immense storytelling drags you into every moment - even those that are 402 years apart. Readers will chuckle, gasp and perhaps cry, as well as wishing that they, too, had a travelling monkey companion named Pierre. This would make a fantastic class reader, or accompaniment to drama sessions as students think about time travel, consequences and what it means to be home.

320 pages / Reviewed by Louise, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 11+


The world in 2425 is a very different place. After a meteor struck the earth, technology has been lost and nature has reclaimed the land. London is now a hellish, flooded wasteland, but a few cities, like Newcastle where Ocean Mooney lives with her Nanny Moo, still stand. When she meets Deucalion Smiff - known as Duke - and his monkey, Pierre, Ocean finds herself pulled into an adventure involving a 400-year-old computer tablet.

Meanwhile, in the present day, Thomas Reeve is coming to terms with the fact that his super-brainy cousin, Kylie, from Australia, has come to live with his family. Due to her invention, The Time Tablet, he finds himself on Andy and Des's Ministry of Mystery, a television show which explores mysteries. But when the Time Tablet malfunctions, they find themselves in 2425 whilst Ocean - and Pierre - are in 2023 with only 24 hours to put things right.

From the prologue to the epilogue, The Monkey Who Fell from the Future is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure with much to enjoy. As readers have come to expect from Ross Welford, the plot is cleverly constructed with plenty of humour - and plenty to think about. The world of 2425 has been skilfully constructed, with evidence of 'The Wonder Age' (as life before the catastrophic events of 2044 is known) blended into their daily lives, making Ocean curious about the past and the stories she is told, but happy with the life she leads with her Nana. As the story moves between dates, landmarks and locations are shown in contrast, layering what the children know of each period; showing Thomas and Kylie's present as it will become in the future and Ocean's present as it was in the past.

The story is full of wonderful characters, not least of which are Deucalion - 'better known among me more hintimate acquaintances as Duke', his Uncle, travelling showman Monsieur Lumiere, and Pierre the monkey whose Caravan of Astonishments is bursting with 'the most miracu-laculous marvels of the Wonder Age'. Popular television presenters, Andy and Des, are sure to make readers smile as readers will recognise their thinly veiled alter-egos and the villain of the piece, Duke's step father Pinker, is extremely easy to loathe!

Home - and what it really means - is central to the story as the children try to get back to where they belong, realising the importance of the people they have left behind. Ocean finds herself in 'The Wonder Age', but longs to be back with Nanny Moo. Duke has found a home with his uncle and Pierre, safe from his cruel stepfather. The future is not what Kylie and Thomas expected, making them appreciate - and want to save - the home they know.

Perfect for those looking for something a bit different, with plenty of humour and excitement, The Monkey Who Fell from the Future is a great read!

320 pages / Reviewed by Sue, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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