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Jelly

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Jelly Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 12
12 Reviews
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Nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019. A warm, feel-good story for 9+ about taking a leap of faith when life feels wobbly. Perfect for fans of Cathy Cassidy.

Jelly, aged 11, is the life and soul of the classroom. She's popular and great at doing impressions. She's also overweight. She's learned to deal with the put-downs by brushing them off and pretending she finds it all very funny - while making up poems and writing her private worries in a notebook.

Then Lennon arrives, Mum's new boyfriend. He's nice. He treats her mum well, buys her flowers, doesn't let her down. He's the first person to have noticed that Jelly is playing a part. He reads her poems and tells her they're really good. In fact, he'd like to set one to music.

When a talent show is announced at school, Lennon persuades Jelly sing her poem in the contest. But can Jelly find the courage to perform something so personal - especially when Lennon might not always be there to cheer her on?

Jelly Reviews | Toppsta

9781848126732

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14th July '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
 After the reading the blurb I ‘borrowed’ the book from my daughter and read it over a couple of days.  A fantastic story, written from Jelly’s point of view, which tackles some of the trickiest parts of growing up in an understandable and child-relatable way. It contains lots of important messages and I feel it will encourage children to open up about their problems and fears. Jelly is a very likeable character and throughout the book I felt for her and so wanted things to work out for her. The story was believable and after finishing the book I can’t wait to pass it back to my daughter for her to enjoy and chat with her about. 
22nd July '18
I read it to Hstar aged 10 aged 10
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
We loved this book as it follows Angelica and how she is trying to fit in as school as she is worried about her appearance and she doesn't think she looks like the other girls.  She uses humour to fit in and cover up who she really is.  The story has poems throughout which tie in with the story but give it a different style of writing.  It's great to help children understand about understanding who you really are and not being hung up on appearrance.  
15th July '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
I absolutely love this book. What I like most about this story is that each character has so many levels and you really do empathize with Angelica and her mum. Jelly is a comedy queen at school however deep in heart she knows that it's just a mask. She worries about how she looks and how her friends see her.  It makes you think about how people with chubby posture cope with the real world and the way so called "normal " people treat them. It is beautifully and simply written book and so believable it could certainly be a true story. The content and language are all child friendly. I think every child should read this book as it describes an extremely important lesson. It's honestly an amazing read, and I would very much recommend.
15th July '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
I read this as soon as it arrived; the blurb really appealed to me and I was keen to find out about Jelly. It's a great story that tackles the anxieties of pre-teenage girls in a sensitive and appropriate way.  I would recommend it for the upper primary age range.
3rd November '18
I read it to 5NN aged 9 to 10
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
I had read that this book contained themes of friendship and individuality and so quickly chose to read it to my Year 5 class. I had slight misgivings that they would find it ‘girly’ but decided to go ahead anyway, and I’m glad I did. My whole class loved this story. We discussed so many themes that came up, we included it in our SRE lessons, they’ve recommended it almost unanimously to other classes. Parents (including those of several boys) thanked me for providing those talking opportunities and said their children couldn’t stop talking about it, and other members of staff kept stopping me to ask about this amazing book that they kept hearing about. 
This one is an absolute diamond. Many have gone on to read other books by Jo Cotterill but this holds a special place in our hearts. 
7th August '18
Lydib read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
I was really keen to read this book. I have read and enjoyed books by Jo Cotterill before after reading and reviewing her book for an awards. I was not disappointed. I think everyone my age should read this book. It’s about a girl called Angelica who struggles to accept herself and the way she looks. It’s a character I could identify with and it’s really made me think about others I know.
18th July '18
I read it to Rory aged 10 aged 10 & to Addie aged 8 aged 8
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
A simple story that sends home a really important message. This story shows Jelly hiding her insecurities about her weight and putting on a brave face by being the joker. It is a real warm and lovely story and we would recommend it highly. The author talks about a subject which is really relatable (especially to young pre-teen girls) is such a way that you can’t help having a warm and fuzzy feeling by the end. 
29th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
I wish I could go back in time and make pre-teen me read this book! 

The main character, Jelly, uses humour to hide behind her lack of self confidence and writes all of her feelings in a secret notebook instead.

This is such a good book for pre teens as it addresses anxiety, fitting in with peers, having the strength to show the real you and also growing up into a teenager.

It does make references to slightly adult themes and girls periods, so more suitable for age 10/11+ 
18th July '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
Really like this book. It's aimed at the older children as it deals with issues they could come across. Very good characters. Well written book. Would recommend  to read this
19th July '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
I read this book, as an adult, as I wanted to check the appropriateness before giving it to my class. It is an honest and thoughtful book about a girl who struggles with self-acceptance. The author highlights feelings and actions which may be presented when someone has low confidence in a great way. The girl, Jelly, expresses her feelings in an artistic way and eventually this helps her confidence to grow. It is a feel-good book and has parts I'm sure all girls can relate to.

I think it is too mature for my class as there are some references to adult relationships and jokes around this- I would personally aim it at year 7 (aged 11/12+) upwards. 
19th August '18
neave08-from-aberdeen read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
This book is absolutely amazing in every way. It's all about a girl that doesn't want to be judged by her size so she feels she has to be something that distracts people, she has to be funny. But she has a secret. A secret she's not willing to share, not even with her mum. Then mum's new boyfriend comes into her life and she changes but will she share her secret? I would describe this book as a reality because really everyone sometimes pretends to be someone they're not. They do it to fit in. There are no pictures in this book but I feel that this is a good thing because if it did then I feel it would be a bit much. This is my favourite book, it's the kind that when you start reading you just can't stop. This book is for anyone really it's so easy to understand.
29th July '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Jelly 9781848126732
5 stars
Jo Cotterill is back with another absolutely brilliant story that I devoured in one sitting, ‘Jelly,’ is the perfect mix of smart, clever and poignantly funny storytelling. Jelly is the comedy queen of the classroom, she has to be the centre of attention and is constantly pushing the boundaries so that people laugh with her instead of at her. But Jelly is hiding a secret, she isn’t as bubbly and confident as the world sees her. In fact she is struggling inside with how she feels about herself and how she thinks others feel about her. Pouring her heart and soul into her secret notebook, Jelly expresses her innermost feelings and fears, locked away from everybody. That is until her Mum’s new boyfriend comes along and for the first time in her life someone sees through Jelly’s carefully constructed version of herself. Can Jelly risk everything and show the world who she really is? Perfect as a transition read between primary and secondary, it captures the trials and tribulations of growing up thoughtfully and honestly. This is the kind of book I want to put into children’s hands and insist they read it because I absolutely loved it.
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About Jo Cotterill

Jo Cotterill has had several careers - actor, musician, teacher, newspaper seller - but is now a full-time writer in Oxfordshire. She loves writing for all ages and has published over twenty books. A Library of Lemons is a book from the heart about making connections and what it really means to be human. Jo loves going into schools and talking about books an...

More about Jo Cotterill

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