|Publisher:||Your Scrivener Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Jennifer Rouse Barbeau is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, and is now a professor of Advertising--Creative Media at Canadore College in North Bay. She lives in Sturgeon Falls. Barbeau has published a number of short stories, including "Grumble" in the 2006 YSP anthology Bluffs: Northeastern Ontario Stories from the Edge. She illustrated La Laineuse by Rachel Desaulniers (Le Centre FORA, 2006). Swampy Jo is her first novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It's a relatively quick read, but the entire story felt very real to me; I felt like I could relate to Sarah Joe (the main character), even though I have never had an eating disorder. Sarah Jo spends a lot of her time trying to simultaneously disappear and find some control in the middle of a very hectic life, and I think that's something many people can relate to. Sarah Jo is also trying to come to terms with a very dysfunctional family environment, with many hints of mental illness (amongst other things). As you read on, you come to really care not only for Sarah Jo, but also for Pockets (Paul) -- the "hot guy" in school who faces his own troubles. Paul sucks you in immediately; he has a self-destructive aura about him that is hard to fight off. The budding relationship between him and Sarah Jo is really touching. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who has ever felt out of place and confused about their place in the world. The author does a great job at describing the struggle between feeling like disappearing completely and feeling as though you must push on. The author also captures the subtleties of what it's like living in a family with secrets hidden just under the surface. Also great for those who have an interest in mental health; the author did a great job conveying the subtleties of mental illness.
Although this book may be thought of one for the preteen and teen market, I would recommend Swampy Jo to anyone who wishes to understand some of the issues that are faced by individuals of all ages. I particularly loved the author's use of metaphors and similes, the method used and techniques involved in the character development, and the understanding the author shows of various issues that many family members face. The main character, Sarah Joanne (alias Swampy Jo) is unique as she faces and analyzes many problems with which she eventually comes to terms. Do you know anyone like her?