Jaclyn Hyde

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Jaclyn Hyde Book Poster Image
Sci-fi fun as a perfectionist's potion makes her a monster.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers learn about history, chemistry, literature and more through Jaclyn's schoolwork, also about navigating friendships, emotions, expectations.

Positive Messages

Being perfect is impossible. Insisting on perfection isn't healthy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jaclyn's parents have lots of confidence in her, want her to do her best, but also assure her that they love her no matter what.

Violence & Scariness

There's a little tension and action when Jaclyn transforms into Jackie, but it's mostly funny.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jaclyn Hyde, from authors Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White, is a fun take on a traditional story and on the great lengths people are willing to go to in order to meet high expectations. Jaclyn's intense drive for perfection in everything she does starts to cause her stress, and she doesn't know how to deal with it. Readers might never have opted to make a gross potion from rotting apples, but the story will resonate with anyone who's thought about going to great lengths just so they don't let others -- or themselves -- down. Jaclyn's parents' response is what kids hope for when they feel overwhelmed, and readers see the importance of being truthful and authentic.

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Adult Written bychiringa2019 January 22, 2020

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What's the story?

JACLYN HYDE puts a teen twist on the familiar tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Eighth-grader Jaclyn tries to be perfect at everything: school projects, friendships, extracurricular activities. When she discovers a recipe-for-perfection potion in an abandoned laboratory, she thinks all her stress about staying perfect will be gone. But once she downs the disgusting juice, she becomes Jackie, a ruthless monster who will do anything -- lie, cheat, sabotage -- to come out on top. When real Jaclyn sees what her alter ego has done, she has to decide if she wants to risk lowering her guard and admitting her imperfections in order to save her friends and community.

Is it any good?

This lively sci-fi tale is full of messages to help kids feeling the pressure of school, sports, and other activities navigate the relentless push to be the best. Jaclyn Hyde has a strong message about personal expectations and pride, reminding readers that they can always try to be better students, friends, and people, but that perfection isn't the goal. Perfection isn't attainable, even with potion and magic and the very best Mount Vesuvius model ever built thrown into the mix. Jackie's cutthroat sabotage is a fun read for every exhausted kid who has dreamed of taking the shortcut to the top, and a funny mirror to Jaclyn's focused perfection.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the huge amount of pressure Jaclyn Hyde puts on herself in Jaclyn Hyde. When have you felt pressure to succeed or be perfect? How have you dealt with that?

  • Jaclyn is very good at a lot of things, and things that were fun (school, sports, art, etc.) have become stressful activities. Have you ever felt that something got less fun the better you got at it? What happened?

  • What other sci-fi books have you read?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction and fantasy

Themes & Topics

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