Moving house and being the new kid in school are never easy, but since his dad left, Jack and his mum have moved five times in two years. To help him cope, Jack has developed Sherlock code- a survival strategy he employs to help him fit in. He doesn't make friends and is constantly pretending to be someone he isn't, but it helps him get through.
At school number six, however, he meets Tyler. Funny, clever and inventive, Tyler seems to like Jack and want to be friends- but can Jack allow himself to be 'Just Jack'?
As with 'Giant', Kate Scott shows great skill at writing very likeable characters which are so easy to empathise with. Jack is trying to cope with a situation many children sadly find themselves in- with his father gone, he doesn't want to bother anyone, particularly his mum, with his feelings. His way of coping to to not be himself, but hide behind different personas. Tyler is a fabulously fresh, unique individual whose enthusiasm is infectious. Friendship is really at the heart of the story and it is a joy to read as they come to know each other and their friendship develops. Mr Tull is also well portrayed; it is a joy to see a warm, sympathetic teacher who relates well to his pupils in a children's story!
The book offers plenty of humorous moments as well as emotional ones. There is so much to discuss and enjoy, making it perfect for using as a key text in class or for guided reading.
Just Jack Kate Scott
Piccadilly ISBN: 978-1848126244
You can read another review of 'Just Jack' here.
You can read a review of 'Giant' here.