Jackson Jones, Book 1: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish

Jackson Jones, Book 1: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish

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by Jennifer L. Kelly

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When family reunion day arrives, Jackson, a lonely ten-and-a-half-year-old boy, is loathe to share his room with Great Aunt Harriet. She's a hundred and twelve years old, talks unintelligibly out of her toothless mouth, and has very, very, very big hair. But when he falls into her piles of hair during the night, Jackson encounters a world he'd never dreamed existed


When family reunion day arrives, Jackson, a lonely ten-and-a-half-year-old boy, is loathe to share his room with Great Aunt Harriet. She's a hundred and twelve years old, talks unintelligibly out of her toothless mouth, and has very, very, very big hair. But when he falls into her piles of hair during the night, Jackson encounters a world he'd never dreamed existed. In this magical fantasy complemented by zany illustrations, Jackson meets a host of extraordinary characters and finds that his life, far from being average and uneventful, is being written by the great Author, in whom all stories find their meaning.

Product Details

Publication date:
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Zondervan Publishing
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Jackson Jones, Book 1

By Jennifer Kelly


Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Kelly
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-72284-7

Chapter One

The First Chapter

Jackson didn't know it yet, but in a faraway place, closer than he could imagine, a little creature was sighing in frustration.

This little creature was sighing because she had absolutely no idea what to do. This wasn't a surprise in itself, especially if you knew her. She never had any idea what to do.

The trap door was shut.

Locked, in fact.

It wasn't supposed to be locked.

It was supposed to be unlocked.

And wide open.

She was supposed to unlock it and open it, so that it would no longer be locked and unopened.

But given that Meeka was just that kind of elf, she had forgotten the key.

So there she stood, at the top of a thirty-foot ladder, trying to unlock a trap door with a dead, smelly fish.

Chapter Two

No Longer the First Chapter

Jackson rolled over and opened his eyes. He looked at the clock. Still early. His eyes closed. He began to dream again, but then something tickled his mind. What was so important about today?

Oh yes.

Family reunion day.

Chapter Three

A Chapter that Has a Secret in It

Jackson had a lot of family members.

That didn't mean his dad had four arms or his aunt had twelve legs, but what it did mean was there were a lot of people in his family.

He had a mom, a dad, one brother, one sister, seven aunts, eight uncles, and twenty-four cousins. They were a close family. Jackson saw his family all the time. What with birthdays, anniversaries, soccer games, talent shows, science fairs, and vacations, life was ... insane. And Christmas was just an imbroglio, as you can imagine. (Imbroglio is like when you're playing tag with twenty other kids ... in the kitchen ... and your mom is cooking ... and the dog just threw up.)

However (and this is a rather large however, meaning you are about to read something that is a big deal, so pay attention), HOWEVER, Jackson had just moved. Not just him, but his entire family. Not all of his aunts and uncles and cousins and all of their imbroglios, but just Jackson and his mom, dad, brother, and sister. Not only did they just move, but they moved far, far away. This meant no more imbroglios for a while.

Of course Jackson should have been mad. But as hard as he tried to be mad, he couldn't be. You see, Jackson's mom was a writer. And not just any writer, but a really good one. Not only was she a really good writer, she was also a kind-hearted writer. This meant she didn't turn into one of those writers who demand first-class treatment everywhere they go, like demanding steak and chocolate ice cream on a plane when they are only serving peanuts. But because Jackson's mom was such a good writer, she had to do research in a place that was far away. But the reason Jackson couldn't be mad was because he understood. He understood how important writing was to his mom ... because writing was important to him.

You see, Jackson had a secret. A secret only he and his mom knew about.

Jackson wanted to be a writer too.

Every Sunday night, after church was finished and the huge lunch was finished and they had all gone for a healthy walk, admiring trees and ponds and silly little ducks, after everyone had gone into their own rooms to just "take it down a notch," Jackson would go into his mother's studio, sit in the huge leather chair, and drink hot chocolate while she read his stories and talked to him as a writer, but with the kind heart of a mom. Sometimes they would talk about important things, like what he would write about next, about the clouds they had seen that day, and about how fast he was growing. Maybe growing fast isn't important to a ten-and-a-half-year old, but it's always important to a mom. And sometimes they would talk about unimportant things, such as ... well, actually, there's no such thing as unimportant things to talk about.

But I suppose you're wondering more about Jackson.

Jackson was an average-looking ten-and-a-half-year-old boy. He was a little on the small side. He had blondish-brown hair and his eyes were a bluish- grayish-greenish brown. He did have very straight teeth, however, which meant he had a very nice smile.

Jackson was in sixth grade. Yes, he should have been in fifth grade, but after a ten-minute coffee break (which included an unpleasant piece of fruitcake), the principal decided Jackson would be in sixth grade. They had more desks, you see. That was a ridiculous decision of course, but one makes ridiculous decisions when eating unpleasant cake. Wars have been known to break out over leaders eating dry sponge cake, and there is speculation that King Henry VIII had his fifth wife disposed of because she served him plain white cake instead of the raspberry he craved.

So Jackson didn't really fit in at his new school. All of the other kids had known each other for a long time and Jackson was the new kid. And he was the smallest. He got picked last for games at recess. He made the baseball team only because they were short a player. And when he did play, I'm sorry to tell you, he was terrible. And he knew he was terrible.

Jackson loved to read. It passed the time at recess when he didn't feel like being picked last that day. He also loved writing stories. Oh, the stories he'd written! Jackson was always the hero, of course.

The unassuming hero who stepped in at the last minute to save the universe.

The unassuming hero who saved the entire village from a raging fire.

The unassuming hero who saved the cat up the tree, received a medal from the mayor, and got a thank-you parade that included those old guys who drove around in little cars.

The unassuming hero who could figure out algebra.


Excerpted from Jackson Jones, Book 1 by Jennifer Kelly Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Kelly. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jenn Kelly lives in Ottawa, Canada, but her heart lives in Paris. Or Hawaii. She hasn’t decided yet. She is an undercover garden guru, painter, and chef, which has absolutely nothing to do with this book. She won a writing award in grade 4, failed English Lit in university, spent many years writing bad poetry, and then decided to write a book. This is it. She is married to her best friend, Danny, and is mom to a five-year-old boy and a dog who worries too much. She embraces the ridiculousness and disorganization of life.

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Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
2Bookworms More than 1 year ago
This was a great book to read. It was funny and took you on an interesting adventure. Loved every part of it. There should be more books like this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CanadianMama More than 1 year ago
First off, I would like to recommend this book not only to 9 - 12 year olds (the age category it was filed under), but also for parents to read to younger children. It isn't a scary story, it's an adventure, and I know that my child would have loved this book from as early as age 6! I am a mom to one girl in 4th grade and I recently bought this book and tucked it away for some special occasion. The reason I bought it? Well, the illustration on the cover was great, the description of the book sounded interesting, and of course, you just can't read that title without wondering what sort of adventure a boy, elf and a stinky fish would have in an old lady's hair! Anyway, my daughter came home from school the next week telling me that she needed to choose a book for a book report at school. She loves to read, but couldn't think of a book she wanted to do the report on, so I pulled out this book. At first she thought it might be "too boyish", but I suggested that she just listen to the first chapter and then decide. Well, we were both hooked immediately! When she would take it to school with her, I would have to ask what chapters she'd read without me so that I was able to get caught up before we read that night. I didn't want to miss a thing! My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this book for many reasons. It is fun and entertaining, and also has a great moral foundation. We both looked very foward to reading about Jackson's adventure together every night, and we can't wait to pick up the next book!!
Eektheweehighlander More than 1 year ago
Sometimes, a book comes along that is silly, funny and has a great message to boot. This is that book. Sure, Kirkus may think it's a tangled mess, but really what do they know about fun. I loved it. I'm really just a big kid at heart and I'm sure other kids will love it too. It makes kids think about themselves as a part of a bigger story. There is something bigger out there and we can all be a part of it. Bottom line: Buy this book and wear it out. It's fun and couldn't we all use a little more of that?
Brittnee Romrell More than 1 year ago
i thought that it would be a fun kids book. i was wrong. the plot is very hard to follow. dont recommend
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Jennifer-Reads More than 1 year ago
Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish is the story of ten-year-old Jackson Jones, a young boy who is struggling to fit in at a new school after his family's recent move far away from all that was familiar to him: his home; his friends; and his very large, very involved extended family. It is the story of a boy's search for his identity, for his "story." Jackson is a quiet boy, a loner, a book worm, an aspiring author, a young man unsure of himself, his choices, and his future... until the day he falls into Great Aunt Harriet's hair. Yes, that's right. He falls into Great Aunt Harriet's GIANT hair and finds a whole new world, a world with elves, keys, doors, and ok, you knew it had to be coming, right?... a stinky fish. The author is the mother of a young boy, and after reading this book, both of my boys are convinced that she must be one wild, crazy, and FUN mom! And, I am prone to agree! Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, and Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish is written so that the reader feels that he is sitting down with the author and listening to her tell a story. There are interruptions as the author commiserates with the reader about having to put the book down after the cliff-hanger ending the previous chapter; congratulates readers alternating turns with their parents on lucking out in drawing a short chapter to read; and prepares the reader for an important chapter, an integral event, or a surprising turn in the story. There are breaks when the author stops to define a "sixth grade" vocabulary word or encourages the reader to use his imagination, to visualize, and to dream. And there are is laugh after laugh as Jackson meets a host of interesting characters in Great Aunt Harriet's world! Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, and Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish was as fun for me to read to the boys as it was for them to listen. We couldn't help but laugh at the story, the author, and the hilarious titles of the 78 chapters... my favorite: Chapter 15 In Which There are Too Many Books (as if That's Possible), or maybe Chapter 16 In Which There is Frustration, Annoyance, Irritation and Exasperation. The boys' favorite: hmmm... that's hard, maybe: Chapter 7 In Which the Book Really Begins... they thought reading 6 chapters before the book "really begins" was just over-the-top funny! For all of its hilarity, this book also relays an important, though not heavy-handed, message to young boys... and girls, the message that each of them is created by "the Author;" each of them has a story to write, a life to live. It reassures children that although they will not be masters at everything they attempt, they each have strengths individual to them and it is their duty to develop these strengths and to use them to make a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them. In the end, quiet, uncertain, loner Jackson learns that he holds the key to making a difference in both his own life, and in the lives of those he loves, including Great Aunt Harriet!
Maizy Alspaugh More than 1 year ago
Cynthia Greene More than 1 year ago
serilesey i dont now?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.