Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Report: JELLY by Jo Cotterill #BookBirthday

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Jelly

Written by Jo Cotterill

Yellow Jacket (an imprint of Little Bee Books); January 7, 2020

 

Happy Book Birthday, Jelly!

I LOVE Jelly! This is a great story about a large girl who figures out how to cope with rude comments about her size. Humor and excellent impressions of others keeps everyone laughing, but deep in her heart, she hides her true feelings. This is also a coming of age story. I loved the writing, the setting, the poetry (!!!), and the music. Not everyone has to fit in the same package or do the same things to belong. Honesty with family and friends is worth the risk. I love the way school, friendship, and home life is all tied up in one exciting bunch. Excellent read!

Thank you, Yellow Jacket, for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Jelly to review.

As an adult who struggled with being the chubby kid at school, Jelly resonated with both my younger and more mature self.

 

Why I LOVE This Book:

~ The personality of Jelly is fantastic. This is someone I would love to meet in real life. Her story rings true.

~ The struggle with being overweight and how Jelly is treated by others is sadly life-like. Bullies are everywhere and Jelly learns how to deal with mean comments by reacting with humor. But beneath it all, she is hurt and is hiding her true self.

~ The courage and honesty of Jelly as she changes how she interacts with others and shares her real feelings is refreshing.

~ I love that Jelly writes in her journal to process life. I love the way she expresses herself through poetry.

~ Fantastic friendship, family, and school dynamics

~ The story!

~ I really enjoyed Jelly. Readers will see themselves in the many characters and hopefully learn to treat others kindly, no matter what size.

Happy Book Birthday, Jelly!

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Amazon Blurb:

Twelve-year-old Jelly hides her true self behind her humor and keeps her true thoughts and feelings locked away in a notebook. Can she find the courage to share who she really is?

Angelica (Jelly for short) is the queen of comedy at school. She has a personality as big as she is, and everyone loves her impressions. But Jelly isn’t as confident as she pretends to be. No one knows her deepest thoughts and feelings. She keeps those hidden away in a secret notebook.

Then her mom’s new boyfriend, Lennon, arrives. He’s kind and perceptive, and he is the first person to realize that Jelly is playing a part. Jelly shares her poetry with him and he convinces her to perform one of her poems as a song at the school talent show. Can Jelly risk letting people see the real her? What if it all goes wrong?

  • Age Range: 10 – 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 – 9

 


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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure (The New Journal Look)

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2019 is looking different than 2018!

Well, February has been looking the same-all WHITE. It has felt like the longest month on record. Which is funny, since it’s the shortest. All of this snow has my brain frozen on repeat, like Groundhog Day (the movie).

I have yet to begin my Word of the Year art project (look here to see last year’s page), but I am adding to my Blessings & Thankfulness Journal. The daily blessings and thankfulness items I add are about my days, but some of the verses and journal decor are about treasure. I think I will add more treasure-themed gleanings and thoughts as I go along.

On the front sides of the pages I’ve been listing the days of the month and then adding things for each day that I feel are blessings or things for which I am thankful.

On the back sides of the pages, I’ve added washi tape and Bible verses. I like the idea of working out my word of the year on the back pages of my blessings and thankful lists. I still want to work on a Word of the Year (Treasure) creative art project, but it is simmering on a back burner, waiting for more time and inspiration.

In the meantime, this is what I’ve done to the cover of my journal. I love the colors! I need to do the back.

Do you have a word of the year? Do you journal? I’d love to see your projects.

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The inside cover 


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2019 Word of the Year: Treasure

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Do you have a word of the year? This year my word is treasure. Last year my word was roots and I had an inspirational image art project I worked on throughout the year to remind me of my word.

I don’t yet have an art project in process for treasure, but the image is forming in my mind. I’m letting it percolate on the back burner. You know what happens when things perk on the back burner? If it’s my dad’s coffee pot, the old-fashioned type with grounds, metal basket, and metal coffee-greasy shellac, then perking will brew strong, formidable, grow-the-hair-on-your-chest type of coffee.

That’s what I’m going for. Treasure that grows strong, formidable, and grows the hair on my chest, in the courage and confidence sort of way. Letting my word simmer will add notes of depth, fragrance, insights, and spicy overtones. As I taste my word, treasure, I hope I will also grow deeper, gain insights, become more fragrant, and enjoy spice in my life.

A spicy life! Let’s do it!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8, NKJV)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” (2 Corinthians 2:14, NKJV)

Taste and see, smell and know.

I began a Blessings and Thankfulness journal on January 1. Nothing fancy, just a cheap composition notebook and pens. As I focus on my treasure, I want to remember the blessings and reasons for thankfulness which are all around me. You know how easy it is to complain and mope. Ugh. I’m so tired of that. But still, I sink into that attitude. I hope by considering and jotting down both blessings and thanks, I can avoid the pity party.

A quick list of some of my treasures:

Jesus-God-Holy Spirit-faith-hope-love-Kevin-RV-home-shelter-food-Taylor-Jamie-Donavyn-Autumn-Chelsie-Hayden-Khloe-Gage-Monet-coffee-church-family-friends-you-readers-nature-snow-books-gardens-beauty-Bog boots-words-Bible-chocolate-art-music-travel-camera-rubber stamping-crafts-journals-writing-bees-flowers-hiking

Can you list 5 treasures in your life?

Read more about my Word of the Year here.

What is your word of the year?