Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: Me, Jill Robinson! The Christmas Pantomime by Anne Digby

Jill Robinson Series, Book Three
by Anne Digby
Strawhat Publishing
Upper Middle Grade/Lower YA Contemporary
131 pages

We're back in Haven after solving that seaside mystery - but there's no chance of a quiet life for us Robinsons, nor for my best friend Lindy. When a local gang leader starts making trouble at the Youth Club, it could mean curtains for our Christmas show - not to mention my dreams of stardom...

As told to ANNE DIGBY, bestselling author of the Trebizon series and the Further Adventures of Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Girl.


I have already read other books in the Jill Robinson series and was eager to dig into this one.

Jill and her friends at the youth group are getting ready to put on a pantomime, one that has the entire town eager to see the show. Meanwhile, a new gang of local teens has been causing trouble. When they make an appearance at the youth group meeting, things get heated.

Jill is an average, every day teenage girl who comes from a wonderful, wholesome family. In other words, this is a character with absolutely no extra baggage, and that alone is refreshing. She's on her toes, uses her head, and usually makes pretty thought out decisions. The support of family and friends plays a big role, as do topics such as trust. All characters, including Jill, are easy to sympathize with and cheer for.

The writing and story telling, in general, has a more traditional, clean, healthy feel than many modern YA books even though topics such as vandalism, teenage heart break and gang problems are touched upon.  This is a pure contemporary tale which hits upon true to life situations and real problems which teens might face, giving a great basis to take and relate to real life. But it's not the messages which stand on center stage. The story grabs, pulls into a understandably difficult situation, and has the reader wondering how things will work out. There's never a boring moment as the troubles mount, and Jill no longer is sure how to help those involved or even if she can. The ending leaves one caring for the characters and thinking about them after the book is closed.

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