Book Review: Living with Jackie Chan

Living with Jackie Chan

YA Book:  Living with Jackie Chan by Jo Knowles

I jumped into Jo Knowles soon to be released (Sept. 10) book Living with Jackie Chan.  It was getting a lot of attention on Twitter so I decided to make the leap and read a it before my beloved MG’s books.

I am so glad I did – I am not as well versed on YA books coming from teaching 3rd – 5th grade.  I did not realize until the end of this story that this was a response book to Jumping off Swings published in 2011.  It is a story that stand on its on but I now want to go back and read Jumping off Swings.

Knowles takes us into the life and thinking of Josh, otherwise known as Samurai Sam. We know he has made a “mistake” and is now living with his uncle.  Josh’s fears, concerns and growth are slowly revealed as we move through his last year of high school in a new place with new beginnings.

This book deals with the emotions of teenage pregnancy but from the view point of the father/boy.  It is done with care, humor and understanding. We watch as a young man having made a poor choice changes. The community around him also grows and changes as they seeks to support him or understand what has happened.

Teachers this would be a good read for 8th graders on up. Our main character is a high school senior who is looking toward college. It provides great places for discussion about peer pressure and choices we make. It lets the reader know we do have choices and we can change our direction in life if we work at it. Knowles keeps the story light but does not hide from hard questions and responsibility that we need to take when we make mistakes.

It is well worth the read.

I am excited to return to Jo’s other books Jumping off Swings and See You At Harry’s!

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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