Jellaby

by Kean Soo
ages: 9+
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!

This monster, this book, is very cute. I fell in love with Jellaby (it’s the monster on the cover) as soon as it appeared in the book. It’s charming, it’s cute in a monsterish sort of way, and made me want to wrap it up and put it in my pocket.

It’s just the beginning of a story — I need to find the next part; I want to know what happens! — but it’s a good beginning. Portia is a girl who’s father is missing (did he die? did he disappear?), and she’s not adapting to that well. She’s struggling in school, her mother leaves her alone a lot. And then she finds Jellaby. It’s a friend (she makes another friend in the bullied kid, Jason Tham), someone to keep her company. And then, by random chance, she discovers that Jellaby is a lost soul, too. Together her and Jason concoct a plan to get Jellaby back to his home.

That plan is just put in motion in this book. It’s really mostly background and set up, though it’s done incredibly well. There’s something deep going on in the book, even if I can’t quite figure out what it is. Which means, I’m definitely curious as to where the story is going, and the adventures Portia, Jason and Jellaby will have.

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