Living with Jackie Chan

By: Jo Knowles

Josh moves in with his karate-obsessed uncle to get away and come to terms with his guilt about fathering a child. Josh practices karate with a new friend, but what if she knew the truth?

ISBN: 9780763662806

JLG Release: Oct 2013


Sensitive Areas: Strong sexual themes
Topics: Teenage pregnancy , Guilt , Forgiveness , Responsibility , Living honorably , Self-esteem , Karate , High school , Interpersonal relations , Uncles , Parents

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Awards & Honors

YALSA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults; VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2013

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Book List, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Seventeen-year-old Josh expected to be hanging out with his friends and going to parties during his senior year, but all that changed after a one-night stand ended in an unexpected pregnancy. Afraid to face the girl whose life he believes he ruined, Josh moves in with his Jackie Chan-loving Uncle Larry and begins a new
[STARRED REVIEW]
Seventeen-year-old Josh expected to be hanging out with his friends and going to parties during his senior year, but all that changed after a one-night stand ended in an unexpected pregnancy. Afraid to face the girl whose life he believes he ruined, Josh moves in with his Jackie Chan-loving Uncle Larry and begins a new life at a new school. Yet no matter how hard he tries, he can’t escape his past. Overcome with guilt and regret, Josh concentrates on helping his uncle with his karate class. His growing friendship with his neighbor, Stella, forces Josh to face his past in an attempt to find forgiveness, especially from his own worst enemy: himself. In this companion to Jumping Off Swings (Candlewick, 2009), Knowles provides readers with an intimate look at Josh a year after the events of the first book. Tormented by his past actions, Josh is constantly at war with his feelings, denying himself any happiness as penance. As the emotional core of the book, Josh is a complex yet incredibly likable character with whom readers will empathize. Similarly, both Larry and Stella possess dynamic, well-developed personalities, making it easy to believe how crucial a role they play in Josh’s recovery. Divided into four parts, the compelling narrative offers an honest and frank look at teen pregnancy from the male’s perspective, and while the book could have been a depressing read in another author’s hands, Knowles succeeds in writing a character-driven story that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking.—Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH

Junior Library Guild

  • Though Living with Jackie Chan is a companion novel to Jumping Off Swings, it stands on its own as a winning story about forgiveness and human connection.
  • Josh’s attempt to tough out his agonizing guilt, rather than approach it head on, is relatable (though ineffective). Readers will appreciate his vulnerabil
    • Though Living with Jackie Chan is a companion novel to Jumping Off Swings, it stands on its own as a winning story about forgiveness and human connection.
    • Josh’s attempt to tough out his agonizing guilt, rather than approach it head on, is relatable (though ineffective). Readers will appreciate his vulnerability and root for him to find a resolution.
    • Larry, Josh’s uncle, is a standout character whose exuberance and silliness keep the story lighthearted. His cornball sense of humor and persistent cheerfulness sometimes embarrass Josh, as when Larry includes an inspirational note in Josh’s lunch. But their relationship is warm and moving.
    • As Josh takes karate lessons from Larry and then becomes a teacher himself, the martial art becomes an elegant means for Josh to find some measure of peace. After one early lesson, Josh says, “The thing about doing katas with the class is that it’s sort of like a dance, where everyone is in sync . . . I never in a million years thought I would be the type of guy who would be into something like this. But when I’m moving with everyone else, I feel like I’m part of something.”
    • A charming, flirtatious friendship develops between Josh and Stella, a neighbor girl who also takes karate lessons from Larry—and is involved in an abusive relationship. Stella’s insistence on standing by her boyfriend, even as she sees that Josh treats her better, provides an engaging counterpoint to Josh’s difficult emotional journey. In the uplifting conclusion, Stella and Josh help each other move past trauma and toward recovery.

Book Details

ISBN

9780763662806

First Release

October 2013

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/4" x 7 3/4"

Page Count

384

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.3; Points: 9;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.1; Points: 17;

Lexile

Level 530L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Strong sexual themes

Topics

Teenage pregnancy, Guilt, Forgiveness, Responsibility, Living honorably, Self-esteem, Karate, High school, Interpersonal relations, Uncles, Parents,

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