To hear Jenn Kelly tell it, it was a very fancy wedding where you had to stand through the whole thing. Somewhere amid all the pomp and circumstance her gaze fell upon a woman with hair piled high. (No, think higher than that.)
The woman was maybe 5 feet tall and looked like she usually carried a small dog with her. She was probably mad that the dog couldn’t come to the wedding, Kelly thought. But wait!
Maybe she was carrying her dog… in her massive hair.
That’s how it started, this idea to write about a boy who falls into his great aunt’s hair and discovers a whole new world of elves and bubble-gum chewing crubbies. A book about a boy who – like many of us – doubts himself a little too much and has to be reminded that the Author has a plan and a purpose for him.
“I want readers to know that life can be funny and amusing, and they are indeed loved,” said Kelly, author of “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” ($12.99, Zonderkidz).
And somewhere between crazy Chapter 37 “In Which We Learn about the Book, the Author, and Fred the Turtle” and Chapter 38 “A Chapter that Is Not Nearly as Long as the Last One” we find gems like this one, where Jackson has had a glimpse into the future. He has improved at baseball, become a professor and won a prestigious writing award.
“So, what I saw in the mirrors, that was true?” he asked.
“Unless you see yourself differently from the truth,” she said softly. “Unless you forget.”
Lines worth underlining.
This time all of the books in the Simply Faithful book club touch on purpose, on remembering who we are and whose we are. I hope you’ll join us and encourage the young readers in your life to give these books a try. They’ll also have the chance to ask their own questions and chat live with Kelly at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. We’ll meet online at the Simply Faithful page on Facebook.
“Jackson Jones” is written for elementary students but my almost 14-year-old laughed at some of the chapter titles, and the book practically begs to be read out loud to a classroom.
“That book is me to a T,” Kelly said. “That’s how I talk. Anyone who reads it knows me… ish.”
Jackson’s adventures continue in “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken” and Kelly has more adventures in her head, ready to escape on paper.
I can’t wait.
Meet Jenn Kelly
Photo courtesy of Jenn Kelly
Learn more about author Jenn Kelly at her Website: www.JennKelly.com. You can also find her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Look for @JennKellyauthor.
Readers have the chance to chat live with her at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 on the Simply Faithful Facebook page.
About the Simply Faithful book club
For about a year Marketta Gregory, author of the Simply Faithful column, has invited readers throughout the Rochester community to join her in reading and discussing books with spiritual themes. So far, the community has read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and “Rooms” by James Rubart. The current selections – all four – were chosen to encourage younger readers to participate in the conversation. They are:
- “Who Built the Stable?” by Ashley Bryan ($16.99, Simon and Schuster).
- “Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish” by Jenn Kelly ($12.99, Zonderkidz).
- “Replication [The Jason Experiment]” by Jill Williamson ($15.99, Zondervan).
- “Graceful: Letting Go of your Try-Hard Life” by Emily P. Freeman ($12.99, Revell).