Blog Tour: (Review & Guest Post) Key to Finding Jack by Ewa Jozefkowicz (Illustrated by Katy Riddell
The Reader Teacher Review
I'm delighted to welcome Ewa Jozefkowicz to The Reader Teacher today to share her guest post about why representation in children’s books is so important with a focus on haemophiliac Jack from The Key to Finding Jack.
Why representation in children’s books is so important with a focus on haemophiliac Jack
The Key to Finding Jack is the story of a teenage boy who goes missing in Peru while travelling during his gap year and his sister’s search for the owner of a key which he left behind. Flick finds the key under Jack’s bed with a note attached ‘For S.F. to keep until I’m back’ and makes it her mission to find out the identity of the mysterious person behind the initials.
Her search takes her to a range of people: Sutty - the owner of the shop where Jack worked, Samantha - a girl whom he helped in a moment of need, and Simon - the friend who was supposed to meet him out in Peru. Each person reveals something about her brother, which she wasn’t aware of. One thing that Flick does already know however, is how resilient and positive her brother is, despite living with a condition, hemophilia, which has a huge impact on his life.
Flick explains, ‘He had to be, having haemophilia. It was a disease that meant his blood didn’t clot in the way that other people’s did. He bled for a long time after injuries and bruised easily, and he could be in deep trouble if he ever got internal bleeding inside his joints. Jack had to have injections every other day to help with his clotting, and last year he’d learned how to do them himself so that Mum no longer had to help.’
Jack’s character is based on one of my friends who has the same condition, and to whom independence has always been extremely important. Travelling abroad is a big deal, as he needs to take his medication with him everywhere, but with the right support, he’s so far been able to visit the places he wants to.
I’ve always believed that representation in children’s books is important and that authors have the ability to make all children feel more understood and included. It’s perhaps particularly important for those, like Jack, who have ‘invisible’ conditions, which nonetheless require them to adapt their daily lives in various ways.
Representation can be incredibly inspirational and can enable people to envision possibilities for their own lives that previously seemed unachievable. It can also illuminate ways of life that were previously unfamiliar. I hope that Jack’s story inspires readers to think more about what’s possible and how to plan their journey to achieving their dreams, regardless of who they are.
Many thanks to Zephyr, the publisher, for sending me a review copy of this book and to Fritha for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour. Extra thanks to Ewa for her guest post!