BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: The Jewelled Jaguar (available here)
Author: Sharon Tregenza
Illustrator: Xavier Bonet
Publisher: Firefly Press
Publication Date: September 2017
Most Suitable For: Upper KS2
Reviewed By: Kirsty Crommie, Class Teacher
The Jewelled Jaguar is a wonderfully entertaining and thrilling story brimming with mystery and intrigue and full of adventure throughout.
It tells the story of a young boy called Griffin who lives with his mum, a diver who has become a bit of a local celebrity after she discovered an Aztec sacrificial knife, The Jewelled Jaguar, on one of her explorations.
The tense and dramatic tone of the book is set right from the beginning as Griffin’s house is engulfed by a huge hole, taking him and his mum with it. While Griffin recovers, his mum remains in a coma. Griffin ends up being looked after by his estranged relatives and is forced to form some kind of relationship with his cousin, Cinnamon, who makes it clear from the off that she doesn’t want him there.
Griffin soon finds out that he needs to be careful who he trusts and the book rides a rollercoaster of mystery and suspense as Griffin discovers that everything is not always what it seems, culminating in an electrifying conclusion.
The Jewelled Jaguar is a vivid and exhilarating story following Griffin’s quest to uncover the truth. However, at its core is the power of friendship and family and the importance of trust. The dynamic between Griffin and Cinnamon is fantastic and I loved watching how their relationship developed throughout the book.
The other message running through the book is that first impressions can often be misleading and we need to be careful of making snap judgements about people.
There are lots of opportunities in terms of literacy, art and health & wellbeing if reading this book in class and it would also be a great accompaniment to a topic on The Aztecs.
Although an adventure story from start to finish, there are some gritty and scary elements in it which make it more suitable for mid-upper primary.
Overall the Jewelled Jaguar is an exceptional story of adventure, trust and family that I absolutely loved.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Kirsty for reviewing it.