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A Girl Called Joy

Written by Jenny Valentine

Illustrated by Claire Lefevre

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 9+ readers School Stories

LoveReading View on A Girl Called Joy

Prize-winning novelist’s first MG novel – a delight!

10-year-old Joy’s family have always travelled the world – Mum working as a nurse, Dad as a chef with Claude and Joy – sisters but totally different characters – until now.  They have returned to the UK and are all crammed into Grandad’s house where normality reigns supreme!  Both girls have to go to school – for the first time ever – and find it difficult to settle and find life as engaging as it used to be. 


Joy has always looked for silver-linings but at the moment she finds it incredibly hard to find any, until she meets Benny who becomes a firm friend. She and Benny met beneath an ancient tree in the school grounds – but then the local authority plans to tear the tree down. Can Joy find her silver-lining in such an awful plan? She and Benny start a fight for what they believe in – the future of the ancient tree.  


Written with all Valentine’s usual skill and empathy we are drawn into the world of Joy and her difficult transition to life without the globe-trotting. The characters are clearly drawn, with an authentic family dynamic. The perfect length for readers enjoying a longer read as their next step. This promises to be the first in a series, and I am sure Joy and her family, with their resilience and courage will have many fans. 

Tricia Adams

A Girl Called Joy Synopsis

Meet ten-year-old Joy Applebloom, a girl with a knack for finding the silver lining in even the darkest of rainclouds.

After years of travelling the world with her parents and older sister, Claude (Claude rhymes with bored, which is just about right), Joy and her family move to suburbia - back to school, back to her grumpy, rule-obsessed grandad and back to normality. Joy soon finds her usual irrepressible positivity and zest for life waning, but when the powers that be threaten to pull down a mighty oak tree, Joy decides to fight back, and realizes that not all magic requires wands and spells, and perhaps the most important sort of magic is the power, resilience and courage that was there all along . . .

For readers aged 9+ comes a major new contemporary middle-grade series from award-winning author Jenny Valentine, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Cath Howe and Lara Williamson!

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471196492
Publication date: 29/04/2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471196492
Publication date: 29th April 2021
Author: Jenny Valentine
Illustrator: Claire Lefevre
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 224 pages
Suitable for: 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, School Stories
Collections: 2021 Preview - Mega Books on the Horizon,

About Jenny Valentine

Jenny Valentine is an award-winning writer for Young Adults. Her first novel Finding Violet Park won the Guardian prize in 2007 and since then she has written many books, including Broken Soup and Fire Colour One, as well as young fiction series Iggy and Me. Her work has been published in 19 countries. In 2017 she was the Hay Festival International Fellow, spending the year meeting and learning from teenagers all over the world. She works to empower and give a voice to young people. She lives all over the place and has two daughters. Find Jenny on Instagram @jennyvalentinebook A Q&...

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