A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Representations of social-emotional skills like empathy, self-awareness, and coping with grief. Problem solving and critical thinking are key to the kids uncovering the truth, and listeners will also find themselves trying to figure out what is going on. There are teaching resources available on the Pinna website.
Positive messages about teamwork, courage, and empathy. Kids work together to solve the mystery but also end up supporting each other in more personal ways. Middle School can be tough if you're an outsider or have unconventional interests, but things can get better.
Positive Role Models
Luke and Dahlia are soon to be stepbrother and stepsister, and they're resentful about this at first. They learn to accept and care about each other while working together with Jessica to solve the mystery. They face both supernatural and human threats but don't give up.
Two of the three lead characters are girls. Dahlia and her father, Henry, are African American and from New York City. Dahlia is unsure about whether she will be accepted in Curiosity, Maine. As she gets to know Luke and Jessica she lets down her defenses and becomes good friends with both. Luke and his mother become a stepfamily with Dahlia and her father.
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Violence & Scariness
Plenty of spooky music and sound effects, including distorted ghostly voices. Some violence that's paranormal (shattering mirrors, strong winds that cause a branch to break a character's arm). Two characters hope to meet ghosts of their dead parents. One of the characters is bullied.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Ghost of Jessica Majors is a mystery podcast for kids that was chosen as a Webby Award Honoree for "Best Series." The main characters are thrown together by events out of their control, but learn to see past their first impressions and work together to become friends. They show bravery in the face of both paranormal and real life threats. We also see how different characters handle the loss of a parent, or adjust to divorce and becoming a stepfamily. These topics are treated thoughtfully and realistically. Positive messages center around teamwork, courage, and empathy. While there are plenty of spooky encounters with spirits and some eerie sound effects, it's just enough to keep listeners more excited than frightened.
Is It Any Good?
This is an exciting podcast series where the supernatural mystery is just as important as the relationships between the lead characters. The kids in The Ghost of Jessica Majors are relatable because they face real-world problems like adjusting to a new town and stepfamily or dealing with bullying at school. The fact that they have to figure out friendships while also solving a ghostly mystery makes the story even more engaging. The Ghost of Jessica Majors benefits from talented young voice actors and immersive sound-design that bring the story to life. Kids and adults will find themselves drawn to the mystery of what's really happening in Curiosity, Maine.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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