Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
- Reading age: 9 to 12
At thirteen, Jenevieve has some life issues, some death issues, and some everything-in-between issues. Her mother is dead, she's an outcast at school, her dad's an idiot and her little brother can be pretty annoying. Aunt Guin, who appears to be a bit "reality challenged," turns up just in time to rescue J from a fate worse than death—summer camp. Aunt Guin and her friend Art take J to a decrepit beach-front house where J is expected to sleep outside, eat healthy food and help with the renovations.When she escapes to the nearby sand dunes, she meets a boy named Connor and joins him in his search for a mythical dance hall buried in the dunes.
About the author
- Commended, CCBC Best Books starred selection
- Commended, OLA Best Bets
Excerpt: Just J (by (author) Colin Frizzell)
My past is misery; my present, agony; my future, bleak. And it is not just because I'm a thirteen-year-old girl, or because I'm too thin or too tall or because my hair is red (it's orange actually—but they call it red).
"Unique in voice and setting, and there is an unabashed emotional truth to J that resonates throughout and keeps one turning the pages. Recommended."
"The novel has some great dialogue and descriptions...middle school girls will enjoy the short chapters, continuous wordplay and happy endings."
"Frizzell's prose is engaging and well-crafted...a reader can't help but connect with J."
Globe & Mail
"J is a force to be reckoned with...girls will enjoy [her] spunky personality and her unwillingness to give in to the emotions that rip through her."