Love from Joy


Joy has correspondence to keep up with. She’s determined to share her news from 48 Plane Tree Gardens with the friends she made all about the world, when her family travelled. Now she lives at her Grandpa’s and attends school. While she and her teacher, Mrs Hunter work to get along, school has been made infinitely better by Benny Hooper. That’s why Joy is determined to find a solution to his problem with Clark Watson. It’s also why she’s determined to do her best to help his family throw him the best birthday party.

Yet Benny is not Joy’s only problem. Her older sister Claude has sent her parents to Coventry. It seems that she’s at odds with everyone and thinks ’48 Plane Tree Gardens is the most boring place on Earth [they] could have landed’. There’s another problem here for Joy to deal with, as Grandad frets about Buster the cat’s appetite, and Joy considers her grandfather’s loneliness.

Love from Joy is a welcome sequel to the exuberant A Girl Called Joy. Joy’s positivism is beyond the glass, beyond the pitcher. It seems this girl’s determination to see the best of anyone and any situation is almost contagious. What’s more, the way Jenny Valentine has created her means that we feel we know her. Bookwagon loves and recommends this book to our middle grade readers.

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Love from Joy

Jenny Valentine, with illustrations by Claire Lefevre

(Simon & Schuster)

Although Joy’s somebody who sees life in a ‘glass half full’ way, it can be hard when there are so many issues about which to be positive. For starters, it seems that Grandad’s unhappy. Although it seems that it’s to do with Buster, his cat, refusing his food, Joy’s suspicion is there’s something more. What’s more, she suspects that Buster’s eating elsewhere.
Thereafter, her sister Claude is speaking through her after sending their parents to Coventry. (Joy doesn’t ‘know why it’s Coventry’s fault’)
Then again, it seems that Joy’s best friend, Benny has ‘a tornado on the horizon, with a guarantee of rain’. For some reason that Joy’s determined to get to the bottom of, Clark Wilson is bullying Benny.
After A Girl Called Joy, it is a delight to return to Joy’s world. It seems that she really is ‘the bug that everyone wants to catch’. Thereafter, we watch as she works through her problems, tries to get Mrs Hunter to like her, and maintains her correspondence- all Love from Joy. Along the way she recalls her former life of travel, from Zanzibar, Ho Chi Minh, Delhi to Tokyo.
Bookwagon loves Love from Joy and recommends it as a book to read at bedtime, during class reading, to share and know. We are so hopeful there will be further titles in this series.


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