Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review post. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the product company and/or its affiliates in any way.
Childhood is a time for exploring the world around you and figuring out how things work. Some children naturally let curiosity lead the way while others need some convincing to check stuff out. Young Jackie finds herself in the first category, which paves the way for her need to be in charge of everything she does. Her mother nurtured this trait in her daughter by giving Jackie important jobs around the house, things such as watering the plants, adding items to the family grocery list and getting her five brothers from various parts of the neighborhood to the family dinner table each night.
While other kids with this task might run around the neighborhood searching for their siblings, Jackie took a different approach. She would bang on a pot with a wooden spoon three times while standing on her front porch. Each of her brothers would then hear their name ring out across the neighborhood as Jackie banged the pot one more time to let her brothers know she means business. To further emphasize her point, Jackie would turn the pot upside down, stand on it and send her brothers a stern look, letting them know not to give any excuses on why they did not want to come inside for dinner.
At only 10 years old, Jackie commanded quite a presences within her neighborhood. One night while the neighbors were marveling at how quickly her brothers came running when she started banging on the pot, Jackie turned her attention to her nightly task of spraying aphids with water in her garden. She would carefully inspect each leaf on her plants and spray these creatures upon first sight with a mixture of water and one drop of dish soap. Her inspection soon brought her to three flower pots in the garden that served as homes to snapdragon plants that were a gift from her Great Aunt Mamie Seal. As she carefully looked over each plant leaf something caught her eye. Nestled among the leaves of one snapdragon plant was a tiny egg or rather something resembling a monarch chrysalis.
Although Jackie wasn’t quite sure at first what she was looking at, she somehow knew that the tiny object needed to be protected at all costs. Her rowdy brothers would surely trample it or crush it if she were to let them get anywhere near it. Her parents may not understand her reasons for wanting to keep it. She attempted to share her discovery with her family at the dinner table that night but no one seemed interested in her story. Later that night she shares more of the story with her mom and somehow convinces her to let Jackie bring the plant inside. Jackie feels a mixture of emotions as she excited to have the plant in her room but sad about lying to her mother by saying she needed to do a science project for school. Jackie did have a science project to work on for school but that was on an animal and not a snapdragon plant in a pot.
As her mother helped her bring the three pots inside, she noticed the chrysalis on one of the plants. Her mom noticed an orange spot on the chrysalis and told Jackie not to get her hopes up about a beautiful butterfly emerging from the shell. After promising her mom that she would take the pot outside the moment the chrysalis started turning black or if a butterfly did indeed hatch, Jackie was once again alone with the snapdragon and its newest resident. That night after making a scientific observation notebook, she dreamed of flying like a butterfly.
That is where the story of Jupiter Storm begins.
Author Marti Dumas does an exceptional job at writing the story content in a manner that makes it easy for the reader to visualize every aspect of Jackie’s experience. She uses language that falls in line with the way a 10 year old girl would when she’s talking to others or thinking out loud. To keep in line with Jackie’s character trait of being a curious explorer, Dumas goes into great detail when Jackie uncovers new secrets about the chrysalis. As the story develops, readers learn that a mysterious creature emerges from the chrysalis that has slowly been changing from one orange dot to a line of gold dots. It peaks the curiosity of our young explorer and within a few days, she has a curious new friend joining her world.
Are you wondering what the mysterious creature is? I’m not going to spoil that for you. You’re just going to have to grab a copy of the book and find out for yourself.
My Final Thoughts
When I received this book, I gave it to my 12 year old daughter. She has never been one to read a book from cover to cover or ignore other activities, such as her beloved cell phone, just to sit and read a book. All of this changed once she had Jupiter Storm in her hands. I soon found myself asking her to put the book down and finish putting away her laundry, getting ready for bed or other chores that she needed to do around the house. That told me all that I need to know, which is that, every child with an interest in chapter books needs to read this book!
For that reason, I highly recommend it to parents, grandparents, family members and others who are looking for a way to spark an interest in reading in a child that may seem too old to spend an afternoon away from technology by focusing on a great book instead! You can find a copy of the book here or at your favorite book store.