Review: Watch Out for Jamie Joel

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Would it not be nice to find a fictional book that was not only interesting for teen readers and adults that did not either sugar-coat modern society or scream from the rafters that "the sky is falling?" Would it not be even better if that book was written by someone who was in the modern classroom on a daily basis and knew how adolescent's talked, dressed, and acted? And even more, what if that same book actually told a story that had some meaning and relevance for the modern youth? Well, folks, that book is a reality and it is called Watch Out for Jamie Joel. The author, Mike Dumbleton, is a teacher. We know he's in tune with current events because he makes the daily "issues" from school seem believable not some anguished weepy heroine hopelessly in love with the vampire down the street, but a real school in which the problems are both gritty and contemporary. The title character, Jamie Joel, is a student at a high school in a middle-lower middle class neighborhood somewhere in Adelaide, Australia. She hasn't had a great home life her mother ran off with a boyfriend of sorts. Jamie is left with an aunt, Pat, who neither wants the responsibility of a teen nor has much interest in Jamie. As we might expect, Jamie is in and out of mischief, but seems interested in turning her life around and getting her situation under control. Unfortunately, life happens which is the point of the story, after all. The other major character in the book is the new deputy principal, Craig

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