Children’s author Liz Kessler has a new stand-alone children’s novel, “Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?” and her many fans will love it. There are no mermaids, though, for those who love the “Emily Windsnap” tales, but they will still love this super-power book.
In this story, Jessica, a rather ordinary girl, finds out that she turns invisible when she gets sleepy. She and her best friend figure out that if she empties her mind, she can control how it happens.
Then, Jessica finds out the source of this sort-of-super power, and finds others who have similar powers. What will they discover about their powers, and how will they use them?
In this story, there is a true antagonist — a really evil bad guy. In addition, Kessler manages to include characters from all the social strata of middle school — the nerd, the bad boy, the popular girl. But as usual, Kessler really comes through with a fabulous message — you never know what someone else is really like until you get to know them. Appearances can be deceiving.
The bad boy in the story and the popular girl are also not what one might expect. Jessica realizes at the end that it’s not the superpowers that are important, but rather the fact that having them enabled this group of friends of all types to come together.
“A group of true friends to hatch plans with, to laugh and joke with, to share secrets with. To be myself with. Those were the things that had changed for me. The things that mattered. The things you couldn’t see.”
This is a great book for children from fourth grade through middle school. The action is fast-paced, the characters are diverse, and the author’s message is wonderful.
Please note: This review is based on the final paperback book provided by the publisher, Candlewick Press, for review purposes.