Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Today's read... Jett Jamison and the Secret Storm by Kimberly Behre Kenna

by Kimberly Behre Kenna
Black Rose Writing
Middle Grade Contemporary
174 pages

AUGUST 3rd!!!

Jett Jamison can’t catch a break. Her home in small town Wisteria is noisy as a zoo, and her mind buzzes with bits of a traumatic memory she’d rather
forget. She’s filled a shoebox with one hundred thirty-three
to-do lists, her roadmaps to peace, but they only lead to dead ends. Sister Gia, master gardener and cat-whisperer extraordinaire, suggests a book by an anonymous author, but it’s disappeared from all local libraries, and nobody wants to talk about it. Enraged at the injustice, Jett continues to dig for answers and is drawn into a censorship battle with a high-profile radio host. Her peaceful protest backfires big time, and the town goes berserk. Now, for peace to be within reach, Jett must either face up to her past or remain forever bound by silence much more suffocating than the din in Wisteria.



This is a potent tale about a girl, who learns to open up and raise her voice in several ways.

Jett craves organization, quiet situations, and calmness, all those things she doesn't have at home thanks to her busy parents and more than lively brothers. Even her reading time at the library is disturbed, leaving her with no where to go. When a nun suggests a novel to her, which will get to the true core of the issues Jett faces, Jett can't even read it thanks to the town's censorship. So, Jett does something out of character. She protests, and this causes more than just a little uproar.

This is a read which hits upon some very tough themes, and it does it with care. Jett suffers under the aftermath of sexual assault by a family member. She hasn't told anyone due to several reasons, and it's eating her up. Not only do others see her as odd, but she hears voices and loud noises scare her (although it's not explained why certain things set her off). This is a difficult but important topic for this age group, especially considering how many girls will connect with this (so sad but true). The author has kept it very age appropriate and brought across Jett's struggles clearly. Still, I wouldn't recommend this for every reader, since it also can serve as possible trigger in certain cases. Adults should take a peek at this one themselves before giving it to young readers in question. But for other readers, it will be a nice push of encouragement, support, and open up understanding.

That said, Jett has other things to deal with, too. Her parents and home life, while appearing balanced, sometimes leave her lacking needed support, and school life is rocky, especially on the social end with leans toward bullying. The beginning pages were a little confusing, but Jett's problems soon settle in, and it's easy to feel for her and root for her after that. The problems with censorship and reactions of the people around her also carry some bite and add another level to the read. It creates quite a few layers for the age group and leaves more than a little food for thought.

1 comment:

Janet Alcorn said...

What an intriguing book!