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My Jasper June

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“This book is a treasure—a touching story of friendship, loss, and finding beauty in the everyday, with characters who stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I absolutely loved it.”—R. J. Palacio, New York Times bestselling author of Wonder Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the/>Laurel “This book is a treasure—a touching story of friendship, loss, and finding beauty in the everyday, with characters who stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I absolutely loved it.”—R. J. Palacio, New York Times bestselling author of Wonder Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be. The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone. Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find. But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.


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“This book is a treasure—a touching story of friendship, loss, and finding beauty in the everyday, with characters who stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I absolutely loved it.”—R. J. Palacio, New York Times bestselling author of Wonder Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the/>Laurel “This book is a treasure—a touching story of friendship, loss, and finding beauty in the everyday, with characters who stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. I absolutely loved it.”—R. J. Palacio, New York Times bestselling author of Wonder Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be. The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone. Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find. But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.

30 review for My Jasper June

  1. 4 out of 5

    Colby Sharp

    I LOVED this book. Check out my video review. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSHOh...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Moriah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I won this book in a giveaway from Goodreads and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. This is the first YA novel I have read in awhile so it was refreshing. It talks about things that might be a little bit more taboo for kids including death and a child being homeless. This wasn't something where there were twists and turns, but the book really came all together at the end. I guess if I really had thought about it, this would be something that would be very predictable, but I won this book in a giveaway from Goodreads and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. This is the first YA novel I have read in awhile so it was refreshing. It talks about things that might be a little bit more taboo for kids including death and a child being homeless. This wasn't something where there were twists and turns, but the book really came all together at the end. I guess if I really had thought about it, this would be something that would be very predictable, but I was okay with that. It's a cute read about friendship, hard times and trying to get through those things.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Snyder's summery offering is another middle grade winner. In MY JASPER JUNE, two girls with problems much bigger than them find that the bonds of friendship empower them and enrich their lives. Snyder writes a unique kind of fiction that straddles the line between realism and fantasy, and this book is sure to please both kinds of readers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Simpson

    I stayed up late reading this one because I could not put it down! Leah and her parents have struggled through the past year after he brother’s accidental death. Leah feels alone, with her friendships fading and a feeling of being mostly ignored by her parents. A few days into summer break Leah meets Jasper, who quickly becomes a friend and fills that deep dark hole that rests within Leah. She quickly finds that Jasper’s living situation is horrible, as she is staying in an old abandoned house. I stayed up late reading this one because I could not put it down! Leah and her parents have struggled through the past year after he brother’s accidental death. Leah feels alone, with her friendships fading and a feeling of being mostly ignored by her parents. A few days into summer break Leah meets Jasper, who quickly becomes a friend and fills that deep dark hole that rests within Leah. She quickly finds that Jasper’s living situation is horrible, as she is staying in an old abandoned house. It becomes Leah’s mission to help Jasper, although Jasper insists that her circumstances must be kept secret. As time passes, this secret becomes difficult, even impossible, to keep. When does truly helping a person take precedence over keeping your word? Early digital copy provided by Edelweiss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sami

    A summer story soaked in magic, My Jasper June is a beautiful exploration of friendship, loss, and family. Feeling neglected by her parents and lost in her own sadness, Leah finds an instant kindred spirit in Jasper and for the first time, begins to see the luster in life again. Jasper also knows a thing or two about abandonment, and as the girls bond over one magical summer, they realize they can't hide from reality forever. Luckily, Snyder is the perfect writer to tackle these tough subjects a A summer story soaked in magic, My Jasper June is a beautiful exploration of friendship, loss, and family. Feeling neglected by her parents and lost in her own sadness, Leah finds an instant kindred spirit in Jasper and for the first time, begins to see the luster in life again. Jasper also knows a thing or two about abandonment, and as the girls bond over one magical summer, they realize they can't hide from reality forever. Luckily, Snyder is the perfect writer to tackle these tough subjects and does so with astounding grace and brilliance. My Jasper June is soon to be a beloved classic of book clubs everywhere.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    A feel-good, magical story about a family’s experience with grief and all of the emotions that loss can exhume. Leah is a young girl trying to find her way after experiencing a devastating loss that she never thinks her family is going to come back from; and then she meets Jasper, a girl who becomes a sliver of light in their world of darkness. Jasper’s life isn’t typical in any way to Leah, but Leah slowly learns that normal is not a label she aspires her family to withhold. After her families A feel-good, magical story about a family’s experience with grief and all of the emotions that loss can exhume. Leah is a young girl trying to find her way after experiencing a devastating loss that she never thinks her family is going to come back from; and then she meets Jasper, a girl who becomes a sliver of light in their world of darkness. Jasper’s life isn’t typical in any way to Leah, but Leah slowly learns that normal is not a label she aspires her family to withhold. After her families loss she becomes aware that everything is forever different, and Jasper is the friend she needed to ensure her life is lived. A story of hope, friendship, and family.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pernille Ripp

    There are good stories and then there are perfect stories, @laurelsnyder's new middle grade book is one that will sit in my heart for a long time and one that I hope others will find and love as well. Perhaps we all just need more stories to not feel broken, perhaps we all need to find our very own Jasper so we can remember how to live. Adding this to my best books of year list #pernillerecommends

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus It's summer time, but Leah is bored. She's old enough that her parents let her stay home, but she isn't going to camp, her friends are gone, and she's just... bored. Her parents aren't interested in what she does, since they can barely drag themselves through the day after a tragedy that befell the family a year ago. When she is out in her suburban Atlanta neighborhood, looking for things to do, she meets a girl, Jasper. Jasper is trying to E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus It's summer time, but Leah is bored. She's old enough that her parents let her stay home, but she isn't going to camp, her friends are gone, and she's just... bored. Her parents aren't interested in what she does, since they can barely drag themselves through the day after a tragedy that befell the family a year ago. When she is out in her suburban Atlanta neighborhood, looking for things to do, she meets a girl, Jasper. Jasper is trying to wash her clothes in a creek, so Leah asks her home. The girls do laundry, have snacks, and hang out. For the first time, Leah feels normal and happy. Jasper doesn't know her past, so doesn't ask questions. For a while after that, the girls don't see each other, and when they do meet again, Leah finds out that Jasper doesn't like to accept help. She sees Jasper's living situation, which is an abandoned shack, and learns a bit about her life. Jasper learns Leah's secret as well, but the girls get along well, and are glad to have someone with whom to spend the long summer days. When she finds out the full truth about Jasper's circumstances, Leah is afraid for her and wants to tell her parents, although she has promised not to. Eventually, Jasper does visit, gets along well with Leah's parents, and even restores them to their former involved selves a little bit. When Jasper needs Leah and her family's help, will they be able to provide it? (Trying not to spoil some of the plot elements.) Strengths: Jasper's home reminded me a little of the shell house in Edward's Mandy, so it was interesting that Leah saw it as a kind of playhouse but it was really more serious. Jasper's circumstances are laid out in a very believable way. The friendship is a relief to both girls, and middle grade readers will relate to the idea of finding someone who lets them be themselves, despite the things that have gone on in their lives. Snyder's writing is always very vividly descriptive, easy to read, and innovative. Weaknesses: I'm not a fan of grief being portrayed in a way that makes the characters seem completely devastated and unable to go on, especially when parents stop caring for living children. Leah mentions having been in therapy briefly; clearly, the entire family needed to go. What I really think: Snyder's work doesn't circulate well in my library even though I love some of her titles, so I will probably not purchase this. Portraying grieving parents like this is personally hurtful to me; I just can't. The public library has a copy on order, and they deliver directly to my school.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Holds interest -family dynamics post death in family -children fending for themselves -community -friendship -trying to fill a broken cup -

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    Ooh, I love the cover! The Orphan Island vibes are strong!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frosty61

    This is a well-written story about a family falling apart due to grief, guilt, and loneliness. I'd highly recommend it for upper grade elementary students. Faced with a summer of isolation and boredom, the thirteen year old daughter, Leah, can barely make it out of bed in the mornings. Fortune (or is it magic?) intervenes when she finally ventures outside and makes a new friend, Jasper. Together, the girls find happiness, adventure, and true friendship despite the underlying fear and sadness ea This is a well-written story about a family falling apart due to grief, guilt, and loneliness. I'd highly recommend it for upper grade elementary students. Faced with a summer of isolation and boredom, the thirteen year old daughter, Leah, can barely make it out of bed in the mornings. Fortune (or is it magic?) intervenes when she finally ventures outside and makes a new friend, Jasper. Together, the girls find happiness, adventure, and true friendship despite the underlying fear and sadness each is suffering. The emphasis is on the strength of connections with others, how it heals us, motivates us, and helps us figure out who we are. The character of Leah is written perfectly - her despair, her guilt, and her confusion about the way life has changed since the death of her brother - it all rings true. The supporting cast is strong and the author does a great job of showing, not telling, how her parents have been damaged by the past. I really loved the characters, the hidden emotions, and the hopeful tone. There are some parts that are a little far-fetched, but they didn't detract from the overall positive feeling I had after reading this story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erin Varley

    I read this book in record time. What a beautiful story of loss, of grieving, and of love.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    After reading and loving Orphan Island, I found myself instantly drawn to My Jasper June. When I started to read it, it drew me in - the story of a lonely girl named Leah looking for someone to connect with and running from the grief that has overtaken her household and changed her relationship with everyone she knows. Meeting Jasper is life-changing and I spent the book wondering if there was something truly magical about her character. She's able to transform Leah into a person with purpose an After reading and loving Orphan Island, I found myself instantly drawn to My Jasper June. When I started to read it, it drew me in - the story of a lonely girl named Leah looking for someone to connect with and running from the grief that has overtaken her household and changed her relationship with everyone she knows. Meeting Jasper is life-changing and I spent the book wondering if there was something truly magical about her character. She's able to transform Leah into a person with purpose and give her something to focus on that is new instead of dwelling on the past and the unfortunate accident. I've always struggled with the genre of magical realism but this book truly embodies that feeling - that there is something more to the story but at the same time not. I like the way Leah thinks and vocalizes the changes in her family. I think it's an important book for those struggling with loss, to realize it affects everyone differently. I loved the way the story was written and felt compelled to read it in one sitting. My only struggle was not knowing all the facts of what happened at the end of the book. There's no nitty gritty details and I shouldn't have expected it, but I felt like I had many questions about the change in situation and how everything came to be on the adult side of things. I know as a child I may not have had as many questions, but I wonder if a young reader would want to know what exactly happened to make this ending possible. Verdict: A beautiful story about friendship and family.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessika

    Thank you to Walden Pond Press for the free ARC of this book! This does not affect my opinion presented here in this review. The best way I can think to describe this book is to say that if you've been searching for a kindred spirit ever since Anne of Green Gables, look no further than My Jasper June. This was one of the most moving books I've read this summer and perfectly exemplifies why middle grade is a genre worth the read for both children and adults alike. I simply did not want to p Thank you to Walden Pond Press for the free ARC of this book! This does not affect my opinion presented here in this review. The best way I can think to describe this book is to say that if you've been searching for a kindred spirit ever since Anne of Green Gables, look no further than My Jasper June. This was one of the most moving books I've read this summer and perfectly exemplifies why middle grade is a genre worth the read for both children and adults alike. I simply did not want to put this lovely read down. My heart alternately ached and soared for these characters--Leah, Leah's parents, and Jasper. I feel like Snyder truly brought them to life--they feel so real to me. She perfectly nailed the inner workings and thought processes of a teenager--I felt so nostalgic reading this. And it was just so special to watch Leah and Jasper's friendship bloom. We have all been there at some point--finding that bosom friend who fills in our gaps. I can't reiterate enough--Jasper is like a modern-day Anne. If you are looking for a heartfelt, touching read, I highly recommend My Jasper June. It is, without a doubt, one of the best middle grade releases of 2019.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC from Edelweiss Plus A perfect blend for middle grade readers- friendship, family, hard truths, and growing up! Laurel Snyder has created another amazing story that will leave readers with lots to discuss. Preorder this now- it is perfect for small group book clubs.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Watkins

    When you're a kid it's so easy to feel isolated and alone. Especially when your family has suffered a loss like Leah's. Laurel Snyder has written a deeply beautiful book in MY JASPER JUNE that addresses tough topics in genuine and accessible ways. After an isolating school year, Leah finds herself aimlessly drifting through a boring summer in her Atlanta neighborhood. That is, until she meets Jasper. Their friendship changes Leah's life in big ways. Not only does Leah find the courage to address When you're a kid it's so easy to feel isolated and alone. Especially when your family has suffered a loss like Leah's. Laurel Snyder has written a deeply beautiful book in MY JASPER JUNE that addresses tough topics in genuine and accessible ways. After an isolating school year, Leah finds herself aimlessly drifting through a boring summer in her Atlanta neighborhood. That is, until she meets Jasper. Their friendship changes Leah's life in big ways. Not only does Leah find the courage to address the elephant in the room with her parents, but she learns to stand up for what is right. This is the type of book that could unlock a discussion on some difficult subjects with your young reader. Sometimes you just need an opening.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marzie

    Author Laurel Snyder's (Orphan Island) latest middle grade novel, My Jasper June tackles some serious topics including sibling death, grief, teen homelessness, and family dysfunction. Telling the story through the eyes of Leah and her friend Jasper, we see their friendship find ways to heal something broken in each of them. Snyder does a find job of giving us a poignant look at the way Author Laurel Snyder's (Orphan Island) latest middle grade novel, My Jasper June tackles some serious topics including sibling death, grief, teen homelessness, and family dysfunction. Telling the story through the eyes of Leah and her friend Jasper, we see their friendship find ways to heal something broken in each of them. Snyder does a find job of giving us a poignant look at the ways children grieve their losses and struggle to express their fears. This is a touching novel that exposes children to ways in which their peers may struggle silently. It's also a good reminder that talking about loss is vital to the wellbeing of those who have lost loved ones or family. Failing to connect out of fear can just leave someone you care about isolated and suffering further feelings of loss. I received a paper Advanced Review Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Krajewski

    13-year-old Leah feels so alone. Ever since her younger brother Sam passed away one year ago, she’s been treated differently. Her parents are shells of their former selves, just going through the motions. Her friends don’t know what to say to her, so they don’t say anything. As summer begins, Leah has no clue how she’ll spend it. Then she meets Jasper. Jasper is full of spunk and always ready for the next adventure. The girls hit it off immediately, and Leah finds herself having more 13-year-old Leah feels so alone. Ever since her younger brother Sam passed away one year ago, she’s been treated differently. Her parents are shells of their former selves, just going through the motions. Her friends don’t know what to say to her, so they don’t say anything. As summer begins, Leah has no clue how she’ll spend it. Then she meets Jasper. Jasper is full of spunk and always ready for the next adventure. The girls hit it off immediately, and Leah finds herself having more fun than she’s had since her brother passed. As the girls start spending more time together, Leah realizes that Jasper has her own past that she’s trying to keep hidden. Leah wants to keep Jasper in her life, but it becomes difficult when secrets are hard to hide. I don’t remember the last time I loved a middle grade book so much! Every word, every minute detail of the story was perfectly placed. Characters had their flaws, but they were needed, and loved. I cried, I laughed, I connected with Leah and Jasper. This book will be a new forever favorite.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Olive

    My Jasper June is beautifully written about a girl dealing with sadness and distant parents who seem lost in their own worlds. Teenager Leah is dealing with that and more. Her BFF, Tess is becoming distant leaving the whole summer mindless. One day electronics become tiring and she heads out for a walk on a farm. She finds Jasper laying on a rock by the creek. She was not looking for Jasper but Jasper might’ve been looking for her or someone like her. There is something secretive and almost magi My Jasper June is beautifully written about a girl dealing with sadness and distant parents who seem lost in their own worlds. Teenager Leah is dealing with that and more. Her BFF, Tess is becoming distant leaving the whole summer mindless. One day electronics become tiring and she heads out for a walk on a farm. She finds Jasper laying on a rock by the creek. She was not looking for Jasper but Jasper might’ve been looking for her or someone like her. There is something secretive and almost magical about Jasper. Secrets get told in the middle of the night. But things become rocky as Leah begins to worry her parents and stay out later. One night, one mistake, one action could take it all down.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

    There were many things I loved about this and the language and writing are high on the list. I'm not sure however how comfortable I am with giving it a blanket recommendation for fourth and fifth graders. All of the adults in the story seem unable to positively impact Leah or Jasper. I guess I am just disappointed on how much the kids have to deal with on their own. However, I suspect for the middle grade kids will find this to ring true for many of them. In a way the book There were many things I loved about this and the language and writing are high on the list. I'm not sure however how comfortable I am with giving it a blanket recommendation for fourth and fifth graders. All of the adults in the story seem unable to positively impact Leah or Jasper. I guess I am just disappointed on how much the kids have to deal with on their own. However, I suspect for the middle grade kids will find this to ring true for many of them. In a way the book made me think back to the Luralene McDaniel novels that the 5th and 6th graders in the 90's couldn't get enough of, without the romance and datedness factor however.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mortisha Cassavetes

    This was a very heart touching book that talks about some hard issues including abuse, neglect, depression, grief and even death but it is definitely worth the read. The story follows Leah, a young girl who recently lost her brother and is not only trying to cope with her own issues regarding his death but a mom and dad that are devastated mentally. Leah finds out that she will not be going to camp this summer and so she tries to fill her day with things to do until she meets Jasper, a young gir This was a very heart touching book that talks about some hard issues including abuse, neglect, depression, grief and even death but it is definitely worth the read. The story follows Leah, a young girl who recently lost her brother and is not only trying to cope with her own issues regarding his death but a mom and dad that are devastated mentally. Leah finds out that she will not be going to camp this summer and so she tries to fill her day with things to do until she meets Jasper, a young girl that is new in town. They soon become fast friends but both girls are plagued with things from the past. I don't want to go into the story more as to not spoil it but I highly recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    13-year-old Leah is feeling very alone. Her family lost her little brother just a year ago and nothing has felt normal with her parents since then. By chance, Leah meets another young girl named Jasper. They hit it off and have a fantastic time together, creating magical memories while carving out a hidden space that only they know about. But as Leah learns that June is homeless, it's hard to know when to keep a secret and when it's time to speak up. This is a heart wrenching story that's sure t 13-year-old Leah is feeling very alone. Her family lost her little brother just a year ago and nothing has felt normal with her parents since then. By chance, Leah meets another young girl named Jasper. They hit it off and have a fantastic time together, creating magical memories while carving out a hidden space that only they know about. But as Leah learns that June is homeless, it's hard to know when to keep a secret and when it's time to speak up. This is a heart wrenching story that's sure to bring a lump to your throat and warmth to your heart!  For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Everything changed last summer, when Leah's little brother passed away. No one talks to her like they used to, not even her parents. This summer, Jasper appears out of nowhere-- new to town, she doesn't know about Leah's family, doesn't treat her with fragility. Jasper's got some secrets of her own... My Jasper June is a sweet story about the beginnings of an everlasting friendship and healing after more than one kind of family loss.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Arma

    Yes, I am an adult reading a children's book, but who cares when it is such a good book? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the depth in the main characters, the way the story slowly unfolded, and the real emotions that were portrayed. The ending was a little on the corny side, but I get that it's a children's book and kind of needs a happier ending. Despite the ending, or perhaps because of it, I found myself sad and missing the characters after I had finished reading the book. That's not Yes, I am an adult reading a children's book, but who cares when it is such a good book? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the depth in the main characters, the way the story slowly unfolded, and the real emotions that were portrayed. The ending was a little on the corny side, but I get that it's a children's book and kind of needs a happier ending. Despite the ending, or perhaps because of it, I found myself sad and missing the characters after I had finished reading the book. That's not a bad thing when the author leaves you wanting more! I always enjoy this author's books, and I can't wait to read more by her!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I got an ARC of this book from some wonderful people at nerdcampmi. I teach 8th grade ELAR and this will be my first read aloud this year. We are focusing on respect and empathy and this novel highlights both. It won’t be released until early September, but I highly recommend preordering it NOW!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bhavini

    If we could do half stars, I'd truly give this 4.5. In so many parts of this book, I just wanted to hug Leah and Jasper. Putting myself in their age definitely helped relate to them more. (Advance Reader's Edition was received. Opinions all my own)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Kero

    Incredible, moving, beautiful story. I couldn't put it down. Loved the detailed description of Atlanta, and the honest depiction of the characters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Ford

    Friendship. Grief. Coming of age. Grades 6 & Up

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Biehl

    I read this book in 24 hours, that is how amazing it is! This story is about friendship, family belonging and healing after trauma. A book that will stay with me for always!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Wow. That was amazing. And so hard to get through...but in a good way.

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