Regular readers will know how much we are book fans in our house. We love the chance to discover new (to us) authors. Over the years, I have been (& still am to some extent) a member of 5 different book groups. There are few things better than discovering other people who love the same books that you do. When Mumsnet invited Violet (10) and her friends to hold their own book group, reviewing Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson it was definitely worth a go.
We enlisted the help of 3 of Violet’s good friends: Ella (9), Molly (10) and Emily (11). All 4 girls are so different in personalities and reading styles so we thought it would be a great reflection of how the book came across.
So how did the girls get on?
The girls were given a couple of weeks to read the book. 3 of them are doing their SATS tests soon so we didn’t want to stress them out more than they already are but equally thought a break from constantly thinking about subordinate clauses and ratios might be a good idea!
We held our inaugural book club meeting at a local tea room after school – Even some boys from their classes coming in during our getogether didn’t even distract the girls! Many thanks to Whistles Tea Rooms for staying open a little later than usual for us.
About the book:
Jacky is a 12 year old girl living in a large family. Her Dad is not home very often and her Mum is working away with the forces. Jacky constantly feels the need to make people laugh – and is very good at it. But is she covering up her confidence issues?
Did you enjoy the book?
All 4 said a resounding YES! (Poor Emily hadn’t managed to quite finish the book and was even madly trying to get to the end on the way to our meeting)
Have you read any James Patterson before?
2 out of 4 of the girls have – Emily said that she might do following how much she enjoyed Jacky Ha-Ha. Molly told us he is her very favourite author!
What did you think of the front cover?
Violet & Ella liked it. Molly was a bit put off as it was pink. Emily thought that she might not enjoy it because of the colour – she worried it might be a bit too silly too because of the name. The girls discussed that they thought the whole book would be a comedy because of the ‘Ha-Ha’ whereas actually it was after the main character, Jacky constantly feeling the need to make people laugh.
Who was your favourite character?
All 4 girls liked Jacky – They also liked Emma (one of Jacky’s 6 sisters)
Jacky’s dog, Sandfleas was a great character too – The girls liked the thought of being able to talk to your dog on long walks but the dog not being able to answer back!
Who was your favourite out of the 7 sisters?
They all decided that Riley was a good friend. Molly liked the eldest of the sisters, Sydney too.
Describe which of the characters your friends are most like:
Violet was likened to Jacky (Yep, she likes to make people laugh too!)
We loved the discussion about the various parts of their personalities that could be fitted into the book.
Talk about the Dad’s relationship with Jenny Cornwall:
They all said they didn’t like it at first but all became clear towards the end of the book.
Tell me your thoughts about the Mom?
Brave, left her family to do her job, glad she came back for the show.
Did you enjoy the American writing or did it make the story more difficult to read?
Didn’t notice after a bit. All 4 girls mentioned that they watch some US programmes and are used to the language.
Is the book more suitable for girls/boys or both?
Bit of a mixed discussion on this one – Violet & Ella thought more geared towards girls. Molly thought the cover would only attract girls but actually boys would enjoy it too and Emily thought both would enjoy.
What do you think of the picture during the book?
They all loved them – They did spot a picture when one of the characters doesn’t have her scar that is mentioned earlier though (Super observant kids!)
All of our girls loved doing the book group. They have asked if we can do another one soon so we are on the lookout for other suitable books to read. If you have any suggestions, please shout up!
You can find more about the book & James Patterson over at Penguin’s website
I’m happy to be able to offer 1 copy of Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson as a giveaway. To enter, please follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget below. (Please note for your entry to be valid, your comment needs to be at the bottom of this post) The competition opens at 4.15PM on Friday 24th March 2017 and ends at 11.59PM on Sunday 9th April 2017. The winner will be picked randomly from all eligible entries and will be informed within 5 days. The winner will be asked to provide a postal address for their prize to be posted to. This will not be shared with anyone else. Good Luck!