#MGTakesOnThursday: Hope Jones Saves the World by Josh Lacey

Image created by @MarySimms72 and used with permission.

This is a weekly meme started and hosted by @marysimms72 on her brilliant Book Craic blog.

If you love books written for an MG audience and wish to take part, the steps to follow are:

  • Post a picture of a front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.
Cover image by Beatriz Castro, published by Andersen Press

Author: Josh Lacey

Illustrator: Beatriz Castro

Publisher: Andersen Press

Favourite sentence from Page 11: This book is written in the form of a blog and fortunately for me Page 11 just happens to be January 1st, so from a page with very little text we get straight to the core of the story:

“So here is my New Year’s resolution: I am giving up plastic”

This book in three words: Environment – Activism – Blogging

This week I am again reviewing a recently published book, which I was lucky enough to receive from Toppsta.com and Andersen Press in a giveaway.

Ten year old Hope Jones is appalled to read about the harmful effects of waste plastic on the world’s oceans and the creatures that live within and therefore decides that she will give up plastic and encourage her family to join her. She very quickly realises that this will be very much harder than she initially thought and starts to chart her progress in the form of a blog: hopejonessavestheworld.com

One of the most realistic things about this book is the organic process by which Hope’s mission evolves. She visits her school friend Harry’s house so that he can use his computing talents to set up the blog for her and whilst there is inspired by learning about the Greenham Common protesters from his mum. This leads to Hope setting up a protest outside the supermarket where her parents find it almost impossible to purchase the essentials required for family life without excess plastic packaging. Over time the protest grows, angering Mr Schnitzel the manager but inspiring some customers to change their shopping habits.

The difficulties of cutting out the use of plastic are not glossed over and there are certainly times when Hope feels that her quest is pointless, however supportive family members, friends and community all engage in a constant learning process. The hopeful message presented by the book is that by working together everyone can take “small steps to make big changes.” The scenarios faced will be recognisable to all children and hopefully will encourage them not to give up on their ideals but to make whatever small changes they can. At the back of the book there are ten suggestions of practical steps that everyone can try to make a contribution to cutting down on waste.

I think that this is a great book for any school collection on so many levels. Firstly it is an enjoyable read and the use of blog format with illustrations by Beatriz Castro make it very accessible to all KS2 pupils. The themes and ideas are great for prompting discussion about the environment and recycling and finally I see it as an incredibly useful resource for the primary school computing curriculum. It fits perfectly with lessons in using technology to communicate for a purpose, which includes learning about blogging and I’m sure in many schools, contributing to a school blog. I was also impressed that digital citizenship was covered, with a friend, Tariq, taking photos of the supermarket protest and asking for Hope’s approval and permission before posting it on social media. Overall I highly recommend Hope Jones Saves the World for children of 8+.

I am grateful to Toppsta.com and Andersen Press for my gifted copy of this book.

3 thoughts on “#MGTakesOnThursday: Hope Jones Saves the World by Josh Lacey

    1. Yes isn’t it. I thought we were doing quite well until COVID-19 and now we can’t get away from it again, whether it’s hand sanitiser bottles or the click & collect supermarket orders which all come in huge numbers of plastic bags or the disposable wipes which we just can’t do without at school!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, really tough!
        Though, I try to keep in mind the quote/phrase/idea that it’s better for lots of people to do it imperfectly than a few people to do it perfectly (or no one do anything at all!)

        Liked by 1 person

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