Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler
|Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: At first it's scary when Jessica starts to turn invisible, but as she learns to control her super-power she realises she can have a lot of fun. But there are people around – ruthless people – who'd like to use her ability for their own ends, and things suddenly get very dangerous.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: August 2014|
|External links: [www.lizkessler.co.uk Author's website]|
Who doesn't dream at times of having a super-power? Suddenly being able to creep around without anyone knowing you're there, or to soar above the tree-tops with the birds? When you're an ordinary thirteen year old girl, going to an ordinary school, finding out that bits of you have started disappearing and reappearing must come as a bit of a shock, especially as it happens the first time right in the middle of a rather boring double geography lesson. Luckily Jessica has Izzy, who willingly helps her recover from the news and start to control the way she uses this new and exciting aspect of her life. And Izzy isn't even jealous, which, let's face it, is definitely the sign of a real, true friend.
The characters in Liz Kessler's books may have extraordinary things happening in their lives, but she has a gift for presenting people in such a realistic way that readers can readily identify with them. Jessica has a caring and likeable family, she has a tendency to get into trouble at school, and she's allowed the occasional sleepover (not on school nights, of course). One of her favourite pastimes is to go to the park and feed the ducks, the idea of going for a jog very sensibly fills her with horror and disgust, and whatever extraordinary things are going on in her life, she still has to do her homework. So far, so normal. It is against this background that her bizarre new power begins to show itself, which makes it all the more weird – and many a young reader will be tempted to wonder if there's any chance that it might be possible for her too. Well, a girl can dream!
Jessica fully intends to use her new power to have fun (there's a very funny scene in the local department store early on in the book, which ends with a rather nice aaaah moment as Jessica uses her power to help someone) but investigating the background to this change in her life brings her up against a very nasty and dangerous person indeed. And in fact more than one character turns out to be very different from the way they seemed to begin with, leaving Jessica with several problems. Why are people she's known for ages suddenly behaving out of character? What would happen if the authorities got to hear what was happening? And, most important of all, who can she trust? It is her struggle with these issues, running alongside the humdrum events of school and home, which make the book so delightful.
Despite the occasional danger and the threats from the villain, there's a feel-good aspect to this book which make it an easy, enjoyable read. Jessica finds she has more support than she imagined, and while this book has a definite conclusion, the way is left open for more stories about Jessica and her friends in the future.
Liz Kessler has written several successful books for girls aged about nine to twelve which contain magical or mysterious elements. Bookbag enjoyed Philippa Fisher and the Stone Fairy's Promise, and her story about a girl who suddenly finds herself one year in the future, A Year Without Autumn was short-listed for the Blue Peter Awards.
You can read more book reviews or buy Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler at Amazon.com.
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