Summer Jackson: Grown Up

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Summer Jackson: Grown Up Book Poster Image
Fun trading-places story of girl who can't wait to grow up.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Summer Jackson: Grown Up shows two parents' hands-on approach to teaching their child a lesson about the perks of childhood and the pitfalls of adulthood. Kids will see that being a kid is a lot more carefree. 

Positive Messages

For kids: Be a kid while you're a kid and don't be in such a hurry to grow up and act like an adult. For parents: Find a creative way to help your kid learn a lesson in a way she will understand, while showing your love, support, and understanding.   

Positive Role Models & Representations

While Summer is precocious, she is not disrespectful like many kids portrayed in books, TV shows, and movies. She is relatable and fun -- kids will be able to see themselves in Summer. Her mom and dad are also good role models because they take time to find creative ways to approach a teachable moment while reinforcing their love for their daughter. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Summer Jackson: Grown Up is about a little girl who thinks she's ready for adulthood, as she perceives it. There is nothing inappropriate in this lively picture book featuring a spunky main character and her loving, understanding parents, who trade places with Summer to show her what being an adult is really like. It could be a good conversation starter for precocious kids who are frustrated with typical age-related restrictions and like to test their boundaries. 

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What's the story?

Summer Jackson is 7 years old and already tired of being a kid. She feels she's ready to be a grownup and has the cell phone, briefcase, and high heels to prove it. After Summer takes her new consulting business a little too far on the playground, her parents hatch a plan to help her rediscover the joys of childhood -- by switching places with her! Will Summer begin to enjoy being a kid again, or is the responsibility of adulthood really what she wants?

Is it any good?

This is a really cute and funny book -- from the humorous interactions between characters to the adorable and lively illustrations. It's short enough for young readers not to be overwhelmed, and the story and pictures are engaging enough to keep them entertained. It's also a great book for parents to read during story time.

Summer's infectious personality and spunk makes it easy to fall in love with her, and the way she portrays being a grownup is hilarious. It reminds parents that their kids are always watching and absorbing the best (or worst) of their behavior. The book has an easy pace and also shows the less serious side of parenting as Summer's mom and dad get creative in bringing out their inner kid.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it really means to be a grownup. What are the best parts of being an adult? What are the difficult parts? What are the best things about being a kid? What makes it hard sometimes? Are you ready to grow up already?

  • Would you like a new, more grown-up responsibility or privilege? What age do you think is right for getting a cell phone? 

  • If you could switch with your parents for a day and go to work instead of school and the playground, would you want to? 

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