Review: Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week

Sweet on Books

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Title: Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week

JasperJohnDooley_245 Author: Caroline Adderson

Themes: Babies, Family Life, Friendship, Individuality, School

Published: 2012, 128 pages

'Sweet' book summary:
Reviewer: Melissa G.

Jasper John Dooley has been looking forward to being his classroom's "Star of the Week" for a very long time, but when the big occasion finally arrives, it comes with some ups and downs. Things don't go exactly as Jasper had imagined.

First, his friend Ori steals his thunder by announcing that he has a new baby brother. Then, when his classmates don't seem to share his enthusiasm for his prized lint collection, he feels disappointed.

His family tree is lacking in leaves, and on top of it all, he forgets to do his science project. Poor Jasper worries that he'll lose his cherished star.

Jasper is a sensitive, introspective character. As he copes with the mixed emotions and pressures of being the focus of attention at school, he takes a closer look at himself and asks some questions. Why did someone say "yuck" when they saw his belly button lint? Doesn't everyone think of dryer lint like "the ghosts of all the clothes you ever wore"? Should his mom get another baby? He assumes they must have some extras at the hospital. Are bigger families better than small ones? At least his family tree would look more substantial. Does the wooden figure, Earl, which he makes in his basement, take the place of a baby brother even though he has no heart -- and gives him splinters?

As the week goes on, Jasper works through his problems and comes to some conclusions about himself and his family. He even sets an example of how to be a good friend when he helps Ori out of an embarrassing situation.

Jasper's a quirky kid, from his unusual lint collection, to the way he starts talking to Earl as if he's real, to his thinking that the sound coming from the sloshing of water in his stomach makes him a musical instrument. Spending a week with Jasper John Dooley is definitely an interesting experience. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next for him!



What You Need to Know:
  • School, family and friendship are the highlights of this story about a week in the life of a boy in elementary school.
  • The main character, Jasper, is a free spirit, and his story encourages creative thinking.
  • This book should appeal to both boys and girls.
  • An excellent introduction to chapter books, Star of the Week is the first in a new series.
  • As each of the brief chapters is completed, readers are able to achieve a distinct sense of accomplishment.
  • The endearing and funny illustrations, scattered throughout the book, give readers additional insight into Jasper's daily activities.

If you liked this book, try:
  • Fractions = Trouble! by Claudia Mills
  • Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery byJennifer Richard Jacobson
  • Invisible Inkling by Emily Jenkins
  • The one and only Stuey Lewis by Jane Schoenberg
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