Brains vs. Brawn
From the Set Jess and Jaylen
Jess and Jaylen's friendship gets tested when they try to agree on summer activities they both enjoy.
|Interest Level||Grade 1 - Grade 4|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|ATOS Reading Level||3.5|
|Guided Reading Level||M|
|Publisher||The Child's World, Inc.|
|Format||Reinforced book, Hosted ebook|
|Number of Pages||48, 48|
|Dimensions||6 x 9, 6 x 9|
A noteworthy review of Jess and Jaylen from Library Media Connection on May 1, 2015
Readers join Jess and Jaylen as they experience common urban childhood situations. The titles feature characters of both genders and various races while not falling into the pitfall of making that element the main focus. Both the characters and situations are believable and relevant to readers. Jaylen’s fascination with video games and Jess’s interest in sports are woven into the stories. Situations include cheating, sports injury, bullies, dealing with fear, being honest, and becoming addicted to video games. Of particular interest is Brains vs. Brawn in which the characters discover that they can have different interests and still be friends. Each title ends with a short series of questions meant to further thought or encourage a creative writing exercise. This is a surprisingly satisfying series.
A noteworthy review of Jess and Jaylen from Booklist on December 1, 2014
Lifelong best pals and diametrical opposites Jess and Jaylen are the main characters in this sweet series entry about friendship and compromise. Each wants their best friend to try their own respective favorite activity during summer rec league. For bookish Jaylen, this means trying to swing a bat and field a baseball. For Jess, this means putting aside her athleticism and giving chess a try. The plot explores what it means to be a good friend, how leaving one’s comfort zone can be both scary and rewarding, and just how much one should be willing to compromise to make someone else happy. The plot is divided into five practicable chapters perfect for both reading aloud and emerging independent readers. Age-appropriate text is dotted with copious colorful illustrations that will facilitate contextual comprehension. Reflection questions in the back matter pose situational questions and prompts for discussion. A relatable and high-interest read.
Author: Blake Hoena
Blake Hoena grew up in central Wisconsin. In his youth, he wrote stories about robots conquering the moon and trolls lumbering around the woods behind his parents' house. Later, he moved to Minnesota to pursue a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He now lives in Saint Paul with his wife, two kids, dog, and a couple of cats. Blake has written more than 60 books for children-- everything from ABC books about dogs to a series of graphic novels about two alien brothers bent on conquering Earth, chapter books about Batman and Superman, and retellings of classic stories such as Treasure Island and Peter Pan.
Illustrator: Dana Regan
Dana Regan is originally from Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, and has her bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has illustrated more than 75 books and written seven early reader books, which, collectively, have sold more than 1 million copies. She lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri, with her sons, Joe and Tommy, who are a constant source of inspiration and tech support.