Lockdown reads Jenny Pearson

Jenny Pearson’s first novel The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates was shortlisted for the Costa’s Children’s Book Award 2020, and was Krissy, the bookshop manager’s favourite children’s book of the year! Jenny’s latest book The Incredible Record Smashers is another adventure packed with heart, humour and a whole lot of kumquats!

Jenny has been awarded with six mugs, one fridge magnet, one wall plaque and numerous cards for her role as ‘Best Teacher in the World’. When she is not busy being inspirational in the classroom, she would like nothing more than to relax with her two young boys, but she can’t as they view her as a human climbing frame. She lives in the North East of England and her neighbours include four alpaca, three peacocks, two pigs, one horse, two dogs, two noisy cockerels and many many ducks and chickens, all of which create far less mess than her husband and children.

Jenny has shared with us the five books that helped her through lockdown and we are delighted to see a local favourite amongst her top picks!  “To get me through the days at home I mainly read children’s books. This is because as a children’s author and a primary school teacher I know that kids’ books are the place to go for adventure, escapism and a great big dollop of joy.”


Uma and the Answer to Absolutely Everything by Sam Copeland

Humour is a life buoy when times are hard and this came out in the bleak storm that was January and it was what I needed to brighten up the new year. I read it with my class and they loved absolutely everything about it. This is such a brilliantly written story about a girl who is grieving for her mother and living with a father who is struggling emotionally and has not spoken since his wife’s death. These are undoubtedly heavy themes and I don’t know how Sam Copeland manages to balance this alongside such a pacey plot, hilarious action and drunken alpacas. But he does – absolutely perfectly.


Noah’s Gold by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book which comes out this May. Frank Cottrell-Boyce is one of my all-time favourite authors and this story about a school geography trip that goes wrong does not disappoint. Following a sat-nav error a group of kids find themselves stranded on an island. Without Internet! When Noah discovers a map the gang go off in search of gold. Full of wonderfully drawn characters, authentic humour and brilliant dialogue this story has heart and soul. And is so much fun. A must read – gold star.


Vi Spy by Maz Evans

Maz Evan’s writing simply leaps off the page and tickles you under the armpits. My nine-year old read it before me and on finishing said, ‘Now that’s a good book, Mum,’ and I whole heartedly agree. Vi’s parents are getting divorced, which is tough on any kid but when your parents also happen to be ex secret-service and a super-villain, ‘til death do us part becomes a little more accurate. Get this for your little spies.


Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood

This was our class read in the Autumn term and I loved it so much that I read it to my boys at bedtime. You know a book is special when you’re willing to read the same chapters twice in a day. This fantasy adventure about brilliantly brave and loveable bunnies captured my heart and imagination and transported me to another world. Like my own kids, so many of my pupils have gone on to read the whole series.

**We have signed copies of all the Podkin books by Isle of Wight teacher turned award-winning author Kieran Larwood available in the shop**


The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery

If you want to be transported to another place what better way to do it than by riding on the back of a tiger with a badger and knight for companions. This utterly enchanting book, set against a backdrop of WW2, was at the same time an exhilarating adventure, profoundly moving and utterly charming in its humour. My kids made me re-read the parts they found hilarious – I now do an excellent impression of salt counting fairies and I cried at the end. Brilliance in a book.


We have signed copies of both The Incredible Record Smashers and The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates in the shop along with bookmarks and badges. Just drop us an email at info@medinabookshop.com or call us on 01983 300044 if you would like to reserve a copy.

You can follow Jenny on Instagram at @j_c_pearson and on Facebook by clicking here.