'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 19 December 2019

Review: Juno Jones Mystery Writer

I love the character Juno Jones. She is cheeky but lovable (visible in her facial expressions!), very bright, has an unbridled imagination, and an unquenchable thirst for life. 

Her alter ego, the ninja warrior Futoshi, still surfaces when she has an energy surge. This is the way she releases her creative powers, and presents wonderful and entertaining scenes that enter the story at random. Jokes again, are interspersed without warning and the whole book is a mixture of mystery and mayhem.

Juno longs to solve problems. But most of all, she wants to be a writer of books for children who hate reading. Continuing in her quest, she now narrates her second story, a mystery. Juno Jones, Mystery Writer picks up the thread connected to the threat of closure of the Muttonbird Bay Primary school.

 The Alien Lizard men – that’s the name Juno gives to the Men in Suits that skulk around the school – are cruising the corridors once again. Although the students have increased their book reading with impressive results, there is still fear that the school will close. Juno and Bluey remain on the case.

Shy Vi has mysteriously disappeared. No one has seen her for days. Miss Tippett is not her usual nervous self in class, but continues to be light-headed. Juno and Bluey discover what they think is the reason for this. Perfect Paloma shares her secret covert theatre rehearsals with Juno. This brings a new friend into the Juno and Bluey best friend group. Perfect Paloma knows where the missing Shy Vi is.

Juno the Word Ninja has been transformed to a lover of big words. She introduces them and their definitions in footnotes within the narrative of her new story. This is an added bonus for readers who like to challenge themselves by learning unusual, difficult, yet interesting words.

Juno still goes off on a tangent about any thought that pops into her mind that she feels needs clarification. She calls it getting distracted. But her word knowledge has improved tremendously and she has even read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens!

This story within a story has strong but subtle references on how people are frequently more than they seem. Their dreams are in constant flux. Within all the humour and the word play, this is a positive message about the role change has in life that is relevant to us all.

Sandy Flett illustrations are fabulous! They add substance and familiarise the characters. I hear the next book features Juno as a detective. Can’t say more!

Title: Juno Jones Mystery Writer
Author: Kate Gordon
Illustrator: Sandy Flett
Publisher: Yellow Brick Books, $12.99
Publication Date: November 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780648492528
For ages:
6 - 9
Type: Junior Fiction