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Jackson Jones, by Jennifer Kelly

My Thoughts:
As a certified reading teacher, I give this book top marks. Any kid who enjoys Roald Dahl and/or Shel Silverstein will likely enjoy this book. It is a wild imagination ride full of nonsense and joy. Jennifer Kelly has a vivid imagination that will capture the attention of kids from 9 to 90. Best of all, mixed up in this nonsense is the very important and substantial message of God’s love.

Jackson has no friends, no talent, and no hope for the future, and then he falls into his Aunt’s hair and the adventure of a lifetime. Elves and enchantment live inside his aunt’s humongous beehive bun. So does hope, despair, mercy, condemnation, forgiveness and regrets. Jackson struggles with each emotion as he tries to make sense of who he is and why he is.

As an adult who has been reading and writing in compliance with a set of prescribed rules for over 45 years now, the writing style of this story occasionally irked me. As a teacher who is always looking for fresh new ways to engage kids and get them to interact with what they’re reading, I loved it. I could never put this book in a secular classroom library, but on many, many levels I most certainly wish I could. You might not care for the style of writing in this book, but your kids will love it.


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Jenn Kelly

illustrated by:

Ariane Elsammak

and the book:

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy,

an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish

Zonderkidz (August 6, 2010)

***Special thanks to Pam Mettler of Zonderkidz for sending me a review copy.***


Jenn Kelly lives in Ottawa, Canada, but her heart lives in Paris. Or Hawaii. She hasn’t decided yet. She is an undercover garden guru, painter, and chef, which has absolute nothing to do with this book. She won a writing award in grade 4, failed English Lit in university, spent many years writing bad poetry, and then decided to write a book. This is it. She is married to her best friend, Danny, and is mom to a five-year-old boy and a dog who worries too much. She embraces the ridiculousness and disorganization of life.

Visit the author’s website.

Ari has worked as a freelance illustrator for a variety of projects, mostly in children’s media. Her specialty is character design and she most enjoys illustrating humorous and wacky predicaments.

She studied editorial and children’s book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the DuCret School of Art in New Jersey. She uses a variety of media to create my images both traditional and digital.

Visit the illustrator’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (August 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310720796
ISBN-13: 978-0310720799



  1. Thank you thank you for introducing this book to me. It sounds like one my daughter would be interested in and the book fair is right around the corner!

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