Random House Australia
Imprint: Arrow (Young)
The Middle School series from the James Patterson stable has been terrifically popular and as JP’s new character is introduced I foresee another avalanche of young readers.
Since Jacky Hart first started school and had unkind kids make fun of her stuttering start (hence her nickname) she has protected herself by becoming the continual class clown. We’ve all had one, if not several, amongst our students. Her perpetual wise-cracking makes lots of people laugh especially her classmates and her much-loved Nonna although definitely not her teachers. Jacky’s defence mechanism not only covers up her stammering issues but helps her to deal with other not-so-happy problems in her life. Her mum is away with the Marines in Operation Desert Storm and her dad seems to never be at home and she and her six sisters seem to be always having to fend for themselves. Luckily for Jacky, some of her teachers see a positive way for her to channel her ‘creative energies’ and through the school musical and the public speaking event, Jacky begins to realise her full potential. (Thank goodness for educators who don’t give up on kids!)
Written from an adult Jacky viewpoint as a ‘letter’ to her own two daughters, on the eve of her winning an Oscar as a best actress with her comedic talents finally paying off, this does have quite a lot of what I would call American flag-waving but for some of our children who use inappropriate behaviours as a means of survival, I think it would be a boon.
Most definitely a character who will appeal to many girls from around 10 and upwards, this is very much worth promoting to your Upper Primary students.