Dear Jo

Title:    Dear Jo
Author: Christina Kilbourne Copyright Date: 2007
Dear Jo has an action driven plot line told through a reflective diary format.  Kilbourne’s characters are well-developed and consistent with the exception of the police officer whose behaviour feels a bit over-friendly.  The embedded educational element dealing with online safety is a bit strong and feels didactic.  I found the rules in the appendix somewhat excessive and wonder if they would feel strange and silly to the very clientele for which they are intended.  It would be helpful to have added some statistics on cyber-stalking to put the scare tactics into perspective.

A suggested read aloud portion for introducing the book could be pages 28-31.  It would open possible discussion of online relationships and risks and would allow for predicting and making connections.

CM Review

Rating: #1(Highly Recommended)    #2    ✓    #3         #4 (not acceptable)

Interest Level:  Grade 7-9        Reading Level:  Grade 7+

Curriculum Area: Language Arts, ICT, personal and social values

Theme(s) Topic(s):  Internet Safety, relationships, online dating, cyberstalking, chat spaces, depression

This book would be suitable for:    ✓ Lit Circles  ✓  Kit Materials ✓Read-Aloud (Gr.) 6-8

Snow Willow nominee 2009



Filed under children's lit, learning, library, literacy, reading

2 responses to “Dear Jo

  1. I thought this book was powerful and disturbing. Kilbourne did a masterful job in assuming the persona of a tween-aged girl.

    • I think the characterizations and plot line were effective and captivating. I just had some questions about the appendix and its impact. It’s certainly worth reading. I appreciate your visit.

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