Parents' Guide to

A Clatter of Jars

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Quirky blend of magic, issues, recipes in summer camp tale.

Book Lisa Graff Emotions 2016
A Clatter of Jars Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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A quirky, magical blend for some readers won't quite gel for others as author Lisa Graff piles tween issues and life lessons with Spanish verse, strange powers, and recipes for summer beverages. There also are lots of mysterious connections with the characters in A Tangle of Knots. There's a lot going on here, much of it showcasing the dire effects of misdeeds driven by jealousy, greed, and the like (including theft and violence). And while many of the issues (such as adjusting to a new step-sibling) are highly relatable to the tween audience, the characters who personify these issues (and who, in other Graff books, such as Lost in the Sun, would have the whole book to themselves to work each one out) often remain pretty one-note and cartoonish.

Lots of readers will love the magical treatment of Talents (including silly ones) gone astray, but many will find this all a bit muddled and contrived.

Book Details

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