Planet Joy


Joy’s settled into life at 48 Plane Tree Gardens despite his sister’s proximity in the bedroom they share and the the cramped conditions of the family. Then again, the bigger issue has been that this is a permanent home, she thinks, so she’s a little anxious when she overhears her parents’ discussion.

Then again, it’s taken time to settle into 6C with Mrs Hunter and her rules about silence and hands up. After all, it’s the first time Joy’s been enrolled into a traditional school. What’s more, she’s taken time to forge such a friendship with Benny Hooper too!

However, in Planet Joy, Joy’s enjoying Mr Suarez, the supply teacher, alongside being concerned about the happiness of Phoebe Dark, a new pupil. It seems Phoebe rejects every offer of friendship Joy makes!

Meanwhile, Claude’s come out of her shell, and is closely aligned with Benny’s brother. In fact Joy’s and Benny’s family seem a new, close unit- the Applebloopers! What’s more, Grandad has a spring in his step thanks to Hedda Wolfe. There’s a lot to give thanks for in Planet Joy!

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Planet Joy

Jenny Valentine, illustrations by Claire Lefevre

(Simon & Schuster)

Claude says her little sister lives on Planet Joy. In truth, we consider this is Joy’s place too. After all, we’ve come to know and love her through A Girl Called Joy, feeling sympathetic as she’s sought to settle into 48 Plane Tree Gardens.
It seems that Joy’s no longer the new girl in 6C, for that place has been taken by Phoebe Dark. Despite Joy’s best efforts to befriend Phoebe, she is knocked back. Therefore, how might she encourage a friendship? Then again, Joy’s also excited by Mr Suarez, the new teacher, while worrying for Mrs Hunter who’s taking leave for surgery. It seems there’s a lot to think upon.
Furthemore Joy’s  a key member of the ‘Applebloopers’, as her family and Benny’s become closer. Not only are she and Benny best friends, but it seems Claude and Sam are girlfriend and boyfriend! Then again, the small, tight world of Joy’s grandad has shifted, now that he’s inspired by Hedda Wolfe, from down the road.
Jenny Valentine has created such a relatable, empathetic central character. Although we have not shared Joy’s life of international travel, we recognise her fears and hopes. Then again, we’re delighted in the pleasure she takes in the people about her. However, her curiosity is inspiring. At times, we feel as though we would love her in our own lives, a Pollyanna heroine.
Bookwagon loves and recommends Planet Joy and the two earlier books in this wonderful series.


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