Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Superpowers
Jessica Jenkins has always been a perfectly ordinary girl—until one day part of her arm vanishes in the middle of geography class! Jessica’s friends Izzy and Tom are determined to help her develop her newfound invisibility, though Jessica is more concerned with discovering where the ability came from. When it becomes apparent that there may be other kids developing strange powers of their own, Jessica marshals them into a slapdash band of “slightly superheroes.” But when an unscrupulous adult discovers the origin of their powers and kidnaps one of the team, the rest must put their heads—and all of their skills—together to avert disaster.
I can very well imagine my eight-year-old self loving this. Unfortunately it wasn’t deep enough or moving enough for little old me to feel that way about it, but I did find it entertaining, pleasant.
The writing is quite engaging and Jessica Jenkins herself is considerably spunky and fun. She and her friends, new and old, make an unbeatable, super group. I liked that Jessica J. wasn’t the only one with powers—it wasn’t ALL about her and her abilities.
On the other hand, the superpowers are basic enough: capability to turn invisible, read minds, walk through walls… Nothing you wouldn’t have thought of yourself. The characters also do not use them much. This could have made a great series. It’s a shame the author decided it be a standalone superhero book, because the characters do not feel like superheroes yet.
However, the plot fortunately makes sense, even if it’s not complex. Sometimes you want something light to help pass time and nothing more. It’s a good book for its audience, seeing that the pacing is fast and nothing about it screams dull. It never pretends to be anything it’s not, so take it as it is: a short, simple and easily readable book about four classmates who discover they have powers and try to figure out what is going on while keeping one another safe.
Follow me on: