Kid Lit: Hey Jack!

  Hey Jack! The Best Party Ever. Sally Rippin. 2013. 42 pages. 

One of the (many) perks of being a school librarian is getting promotional information from book fair vendors in hopes that they will be the best match for supplying your school with your book fair materials. Yesterday a representative stopped by to share about Kane Miller books. In the packet of information she left was a copy of Hey Jack! The Best Party Ever by Sally Rippin. 

Hey Jack! is a series of beginning chapter books (great for kindergarten through 2nd grade). While I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, I can already tell some of my students will really enjoy this story. This would be a great selection for kids to practice reading with their parents. It is written at a level that will enable the students to read fairly independently while providing clear opportunities to discuss how the characters feel and respond to events in the text. The emotions of the characters are portrayed well and it is easy to see where you could pause and prompt your child to reflect on the characters’ reactions. 

Every few pages you will find a word highlighted in bold text. These words are likely going to be challenging or new words for students reading at this level and offer a clear opportunity to discuss the meaning of these new words. 

Overall, Hey Jack! The Best Party Ever was a cute, quick read that I’m excited to display on our “new books” shelf next week. There are more than 15 additional titles in the series that I plan on exploring as well.


2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas

  2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas. Marie-Helene Bertino. 2015. 288 pages. 

2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas delightfully describes the lives of three separate characters, while creating deep anticipation for how will intertwine in the end. This debut novel by Marie-Helene Bertino delicately depicts three largely isolated individuals, each with a few of their own rough characteristics, yet you find yourself enjoying the realism and being drawn into the honesty of their stories. 

While I was initially befuddled by the conclusion of the novel, I soon realized it kept me thinking and pondering the underlying meaning of each character and the story as a whole. I recommend reading the Extra Libros notes (included at the end of the copy I read) to gain insight as to Bertino’s significance of the patterns evidenced in her characters and the intended overall themes of the text. I had a renewed appreciation for the final outcome after reading this author interview. 

My only true grievance against 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas is the fact that there is a bit of vulgar language and dispassionate romance scenes that I don’t personally feel contributed meaningfully to the storyline.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 
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