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Juno Jones: Book Sleuth by Kate Gordon

When Juno Jones's first-ever favourite book goes missing, she convinces her teacher Miss Tippett to turn their classroom into a courtroom so she can present her evidence, unmask the culprit and, more importantly, get her book back.

With her list of possible suspects ranging from friends to foes - both human and alien - Juno is sure it’s only a matter of time before the truth is revealed. But as the case unfolds, this book sleuth discovers that not everything is as it seems.

This is the third instalment of the adventures of Juno Jones and readers will remember their favourite characters: Genius George, Shy Vi, Perfect Paloma and Smelly Bella.

Quirky illustrations by Sandy Flett once again helping tell the tale. This book follows the previous stories, with a familiar format. This is Jones's story, written almost as a diary. Jones is an erratic narrator, much like an excitable child telling you a story. And that's the point. The imaginations of younger readers will certainly spark into life while reading this book.

It should also inspire reluctant readers because it is a fun read. The characters are relatable and realistic - with flaws - in an instantly recognisable setting. There's plenty of opportunity to dramatise, with character voices and sound effects throughout. As an early chapter book it ticks the boxes, with font size and style used to emphasise words and phrases, and Flett's illustrations help break up the blocks of text.

As Jones says in the book herself, this one isn't as action-packed or as filled with monsters as the previous stories. But, it is about finding something you love and being prepared to fight for it, and about finding people who lift you up, who make you feel better when you're having a rotten day.

A quirky comedy full of funny, flawed and authentic characters, Book Sleuth is another fun read in the Juno Jones series.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell Yellow Brick Books, RRP $12.99


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