Rock Star (Jada Jones #1)

by Kelly Starling Lyons (Author) Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)

Rock Star (Jada Jones #1)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Jada Jones

When Jada Jones's best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She'd much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada's teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she's in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn't seem to like any of Jada's ideas. She doesn't seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Jada Jones is a fourth grader who loves rocks. In this installment, Jada's best friend and fellow rock lover has moved, and Jada is struggling with making new friends. Her hopes are brightened considerably when her teacher informs the class that they will be working on a science project about rocks and minerals. At first, things do not go well because Jada is working with two girls who are best friends. Simone is afraid that Jada will steal her BFF. Eventually, the girls work out their differences, become friends, and present a project of "awesome" rock stars. Though the plot is familiar, it is one that early elementary students will relate to and enjoy. The main characters are what set this title apart in the chapter book field: they are all girls of color who love science. Readers who love "Ivy and Bean" or "Katie Woo" will want to meet Jada Jones. VERDICT With a nice balance of friendship, drama, and the much-needed representation of girls of color who revel in scientific pursuits, this is a strong purchase for most collections.--Peggy Henderson Murphy, Wyandot Elementary School, Dublin, OH

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Jada Jones, an African-American fourth grader who lives in Raleigh, N.C., isn't looking forward to starting the new school year without her best friend Mari, who has moved out of town. But luckily for Jada, who's a devoted rock hunter, a monthlong class project that focuses on rocks gives her a chance to dive into her geological passion--and maybe make new friends in two of her classmates, Lena and Simone. In this first title in the Jada Jones series, Lyons writes with keen sensitivity about the big emotions surrounding school friendships, especially when Jada comes to understand that Simone has been hostile to her because she believes Jada is stealing Lena away from her. Final art not seen by PW. Simultaneously available: Class Act. Ages 6-8. Author's agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Fast-paced, with supersimple vocabulary and a smattering of earth science to spark interest in young rock collectors everywhere." —Kirkus

"Readers who love "Ivy and Bean" or "Katie Woo" will want to meet Jada Jones." —School Library Journal
Kelly Starling Lyons
Kelly Starling Lyons is the author of Hope's Gift and Tea Cakes for Tosh. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter and son, who love collecting rocks just like Jada.

Nneka Myers has been known to paint worlds filled with color, texture, life, and diversity. Based in Toronto as a character designer and illustrator, her artwork can be found in TV animation, children's books, comics, and social media illustrations. When she is not a busy bee, she can often be found looking for inspiration in vintage fashion, drinking tea with friends, or playing video games.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Penguin Workshop
Publication date
September 20, 2017
Jada Jones

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