Monday, September 13, 2010

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish


Ten-and-a-half-year-old Jackson Jones doesn’t have any friends, doesn’t understand Algebra, and is a terrible pitcher in baseball. He loves the game, but when he pitches, his team loses. Once, just once, Jackson would like to be a hero, the one who comes in and saves the day at the last moment. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

Jackson’s Great Aunt Harriett always tells Jackson to “find his story.” She also has really, really, really big hair. Jackson is somewhat afraid of his Great Aunt Harriett’s hair because it is so big. When she comes to spend the night at his house and sleeps on the bottom bunk in his room, Jackson’s life is changed forever. Through a bit of magic, Jackson falls into Great Aunt Harriett’s hair (yes, you read that right!) and goes on a fantasy adventure like no other, where he gets to be the hero and he finds “his story.”

In the adventure, Jackson is introduced to two elves, meets a human, and is told about “The Author,” another character in the story he doesn’t actually meets but gets to know. He also finds a strange house, trapdoors, a beautiful forest, odd birds (who like to chew bubble gum) and hairy-backed spiders.

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish, written by Jenn Kelly, is Christian children’s literature with a twist. It combines fantasy and science fiction to create a story-line that teaches a lesson and is entertaining while doing so.

The pencil sketch illustrations by Ariane Elsammak are detailed and expressive and are scattered throughout the text.

What I Like: I loved the writing!! The author has a writing style that is fast-paced, funny, entertaining, exciting and sure to please young readers. I found it really hard to put the book down.

What I Dislike: Although this book was published by Zonderkidz and it is meant to be Christian children’s literature, there are no Biblical references for the story and the words prayer, heaven and church are each used only once in the text. The words God and Heaven are never used, rather God is referred to as “The Author” and Heaven is called “Another Place.” The Christian aspect of the story doesn't really become clear until about half-way through the book.


Also, the story includes elves as characters in “Another Place.” I never pictured elves in heaven before.

Overall Rating: I give the story a very good rating, though, as the writing is great and the message is a good one.

Age Appeal: 9-12.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2010; ISBN: 9780310720799; Paperback, $12.99.

Buy now at ChristianBook $9.99!

1 comment:

Kristi Bernard said...

Jackson Jones sounds like a lot of fun.