Stuff Happens: Jack

Tony Wilson

Stuff Happens: Jack
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Stuff Happens: Jack

Tony Wilson

Stuff Happens is an important new series for boys about everyday challenges. Created by Susannah McFarlane, the series editor, the series is written by established authors Tony Wilson, Andrew Daddo, Philip Gwynne, Will Kostakis, Oliver Phommavanh, Scot Gardner, Justin D'Ath, James Roy, Pat Flynn and Alex McDiarmid. Each book features a different character and follows them as they overcome a particular everyday challenge. Aimed at boys aged between 7 and 11, the Stuff Happens series explores those everyday struggles in life that boys can sometimes be reluctant to express- quarrels with mates, a bad day at school, fear of disappointing mum and dad, rejection and not fitting in. Stuff Happens. Real-life stories for boys. Suitable for beginner and newly confident readers. Stuff happens sometimes. Everyday stuff. At school, at home, with sport, with mates. For Jack it happened when a game at recess went wrong. Jack is one of the sporty boys, and is always after a new game to play, particularly if he can invent one that allows him to tackle without getting caught. He and his friends invent You Play, You Pay, and things don’t end well. When Jack, in pain and keen not to get in trouble, says it was Fadi’s fault, he almost immediately regrets it, but can’t take it back. Things go from bad to worse as Fadi gets into more trouble and Jack feels more and more guilty. http-//www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-features/books-for-boys-series-stuff-happens-helps-show-boys-how-to-deal-with-their-emotions/story-fni3wj64-1227246165147 http-//www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/stuff-happens3a-books-for-boys/5649918 Praise for Stuff Happens ‘Stories about boys, aimed at boys and containing real-life stories of their school and home life are rare. Even rarer are those that have readily identifiable characters and situations, and engage, amuse and inform. But here they are.’ ‘An exciting new series written specifically for boys aged from seven to eleven … great additions for school libraries and for engaging reluctant boy readers. Outstanding!’ Read Plus ‘The fantastic Stuff Happens series.’ reviewZOO ‘I love a book that talks in a kid’s voice. It makes us feel important and special. The thing I like the most about these books are that they tell different perspectives of everyday things in life.’ Mr 10 - Readingtree.com.au ‘The awareness of the emotional life of boys is slowly being recognised as a critical factor into the development of boys to be strong and courageous sensitive men. Stuff Happens explores feelings and emotions in an entertaining and humorous way, allowing boys to understand that it is OK to express emotion. This can only be positive! I highly recommend and love the books!’ Deborah Jepsen, Educational and Developmental Psychologist - Melbourne Child Psychology / School Psychology Services ‘As a mum to two boys aged 8 and 10, I was thrilled to find a book series that provided very real 'boy dilemmas’ and connected feelings and behaviours, which can be really confusing for boys. What was even more exciting was how much the boys ate it up. My eldest read the first book in one sitting and I was back at the bookshop the next day to buy the entire series! My youngest loved being read to and was so engaged and interested in all the characters and their issues. Can’t wait for the next instalment.‘ Marita Evans - Mum to Rupert, 10, and Henry, 8 'I liked Jack because I loved the big game Jack played 'You Pay You Play’. I would play that game. Oh and then he got in big trouble by the principal. In the end Jack told the truth about the game and Jack and his friend still got to play with the Vipers. I learned it is best to tell the truth and things might work out. (Can the next book be Henry please) Henry, aged 8

Review

I will be honest – I did not expect to enjoy Jack as much as I did! Books about (and aimed at) primary-school boys with lots of sporting activities and playground roughhousing are not generally my cup of tea. But Jack, beautifully written by Tony Wilson, is just such a lovely character to spend time with.

Each book in the Stuff Happens series is told from the perspective of a different character and Jack is an easy, gentle companion. He instantly draws you into his world and within the first couple of pages I cared deeply about Jack’s life and problems. The book is very easy to relate to and I think that it really encourages engaged reading and emotional literacy amongst younger readers as it deals with the relationships between the boys in a way that is, unfortunately, uncommon in junior fiction.

It’s perfect for readers aged 7 and up to read independently.

Isobel Moore is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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