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Juno Jones Word Ninja #1, Kate Gordon (author), Sandy Flett (illus.), Yellow Brick Books, April 2019.
A DISASTER HAS HAPPENED!
Muttonbird Bay Primary might be closing. I mean, FOREVER.
Juno Jones loves her school, but the Men in Suits want to close it down!
And there’s only one thing Juno and her classmates can do to stop it…
READ! Which is perfectly fine for people like Perfect Paloma, Smelly Bella and Genius George, but Juno Jones is A Kid Who Doesn’t Like Reading.
It might take the unthinkable to make it happen, but to save her school Juno Jones will need to become a Word Ninja!
(Juniper Jones) Juno; a self-professed reading averter, book-detesting *cough*, doughnut-loving, capital letter-overuser, art-enthusiast, ninja-in-disguise – and funnily enough, also hilariously imaginative and seems to refer a lot to classic storybooks and other kinds of books we should all be familiar with. So yes, it certainly is funny that for someone who absolutely does NOT like reading she is so determined to save her school, Muttonbird Bay Primary, from potential foreclosure… by doing what? Yes, READING!
And WRITING! Juno is actually writing this very book for other kids who don’t like reading, and because it’s fun to write about herself and her awesome ninja skills, including fighting zombies, killer mermaids and six impossible monsters before breakfast with her literary side-kick, Futoshi. But in actual reality, Juno is fighting the Men in Suits, aka Alien lizards in human skin, aka politicians, who want to close down her beloved school. So rather than having to go to either the ‘posh’ school or the ‘poo’ school, Juno is becoming a ‘word ninja’ to save her own school.
And so comes this candid story of determination, friendships, bullies, teamwork and inadvertently exposing one’s true feelings about topics of the heart. The real sentiment being that reading, not fighting, can save the world. I love that!
Kate Gordon is the brilliant author behind the tenacious pre-teen voice of Juno. She uses a range of linguistic and language devices like rhyme and alliteration (names) to support the underlying context, but in such a humorous and subtle way. Through her character, Kate also encourages readers to get excited about writing, including mentions of conventions like dialogue, description and adding drama to your story, cliff-hangers, jumping into the action and hooking your audience into your plot at just the perfect moment. I also loved the reminder from Juno – who really can’t deny her enjoyment of reading forever – of all the wonderful things about getting lost in a story and being frightened and laughing out loud, wanting to stay up all night and even re-reading books just for fun.
Sandy Flett’s hand-drawn line and shade illustrations throughout are the best addition to this energetic, witty and clever story. They are so stylistically age-appropriate and applicable to the given pre-teen market. Not to mention completely funny and perfectly cheeky at the same time.
With a fantastic cast of interesting characters, inspirational messages and themes, and an absolutely engaging and entertaining storyline, Juno Jones Word Ninja is the first in an exciting series that sure will be hi-jinxing its way into the hands of kids around the world.
And with more ways to hook us in to reading: A thrilling sample chapter of Book 2 has stealthily snuck its way in at the end. Hi YA!
Review by Romi Sharp.
Juno Jones Word Ninja: Website | Yellow Brick Books
#junojoneswordninja # literacy #reading #writing #friendship #teamwork
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2 thoughts to “#BookReview: Juno Jones Word Ninja by Kate Gordon”
Oh, I’m so excited that my copy came today 🙂 It’ll be a race to finish it – HIYA!
WINNER! HiYA! 🙂