BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Mo, Lottie and the Junkers (available here)
Author: Jennifer Killick
Illustrator: Gareth Conway
Publisher: Firefly press
Publication Date: April 2019
Most Suitable for: Years 4-6
Reviewed By: Kristen Hopwood (@khopwood87), Year 3 teacher
Mo, Lottie and the Junkers is a comedy sci-fi adventure that follows the slightly awkward relationship between Mo and Lottie. Mo, his Mum (Emma) and their cat (Schrodinger) move in with Lottie, who already lives with her sister (Sadie) and their Dad (Spencer). Neither Mo nor Lottie are particularly excited about their new living situation and their very different personalities make for an interesting start. Mo is quiet, a bit shy and likes things in order. Lottie is outgoing, confident and likes to do things her own way. To make matters worse for Mo, they all move into a house across the road from Mo’s beloved family home that he shared with his Mum. Mo’s Dad disappeared before he was born, but that doesn’t stop him wondering what happened to him.
There are many strange goings-on in their town: a new lady moves into Mo’s old house with no moving van or boxes; there is a new lollipop man at the school; a new boy is acting particularly oddly; and someone keeps sending Mo and Lottie messages. Despite their differing personalities, Mo and Lottie must find a way to work together to investigate all of this, as well as get to the bottom of what the ‘Junkers’ could be…
This book could be used across a wide range of curriculum areas and would be particularly useful for a topic on metals or inventions. As soon as I started reading this book, I was struck by how the opening would make it fabulous to use in the classroom. Mo and Lottie have created an evidence box with a sign on it stating ‘DO NOT OPEN EXCEPT IN AN EMERGENCY’. This box could be recreated and children would be immediately engaged by being told they couldn’t open it. I also love the way the story opens with a vlog – many children will be familiar with watching vlogs on the internet or even with creating their own.
As always, Jennifer Killick’s writing is entertaining and very readable – I love it!
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Kristen for reviewing it.