The Jensons by Chelsea Anyanwu (for younger readers – target audience 8 – 12), published by Faunteewrites
Hilariously engaging and imaginative
The Jensons’ is a five-chapter, eighty-seven-page young people’s fiction filled with illustrations by the author herself, which are in sync with the setting, plot and narrative of the book, one to look forward to.
The Jensons is about a privileged British family of troublesome, daring, but funny children, consisting of six children: Rainbow, Sparkle, Sally, Sammy, Mike, and Jade. Written in series, and consisting of texts and illustrations typical of children/young people’s stories, super exaggerated to encapsulate the typical children’s enthusiasm and interactions.
Fighting is a norm for the Jensons’ children in their quest for building their characters and personalities, but they never fail to have each other’s back when the need to do so arises. The book encapsulates how children constantly bicker and fight even though they love one another. A chapter-by-chapter look at the book perfectly gives a great insight.
In chapter one, the not-so-closely-knitted family of eight are forced to start their morning a little early on an unpleasant note as they are awakened at 4:00 A.M. by a confused friend of the youngest daughter Sally, which begins another bad day in their lives.
In chapter two, the children arrive at school quite early enough for their sister to get into trouble. Rainbow and her friends think they are going on a harmless adventure but they get frightened by a zombie and are punished by the school authorities, just minutes before a fire breaks out and the whole school goes into an indefinite break.
In chapter three, their father has their whole week planned out which turns out worse than is naturally expected, as the children get rudely involved with a bunny family and a cousin—who tries to kill Sally when she is a baby—comes over to stay with them for three months.
In chapter four, The Jensons’ girls dive into a magical underworld through their discovery of what is supposed to be a game. In this game, their powers are put to test and they are given a mission to complete, otherwise they die. When the girls finally wake up, they are left to decide whether this experience is a dream or not.
Finally, in chapter five, the oldest of the Jensons’ girls, Jade, longs to know what being poor feels like. She seems to get constantly bored of their easy and carefree life, and wants a taste of what poverty could bring. So, she sets her sisters on a mission to get her fired from her job. “‘What if we were poor? How do people feel when they are poor?’’ Jade asks. Although Jade is the only one who has the idea, wanting to know how poor people feel, the rest of the siblings share her quest for peripeteia.
As is with everyone’s week, full of challenges and wins, the Jensons’ have a week full of fights and commotions. Owing to the disharmony in the family, which in most cases is typical of families in reality.
The Jensons is about a super-rich family that causes trouble wherever they go. They tend to argue a lot amongst each other—but, no matter what, they would still stick together. They love each other a lot. The Jensons story will help young people learn family bonding and how to resolve issues in the family, and stick together as a team. Also, the story touched on bullying, and children can learn to speak up and stand up for themselves with their classmates.
The characterisation embodies life situations, different issues that surround the family, life and the society—ranging from early-morning routines to learning how to cope and interact with neighbours, how important family relationships can affect interactions with other people in the society—taking the lives of Rainbow and Sparkle as an archetype.
About the author
Chelsea Anyanwu, now 14, is a year nine student at St. Ursula’s Convent School. She is the first of four children. She loves to draw and does so every day. Admittedly shy and at times introverted, Chelsea spends most of her time reading, drawing or watching anime simply for its exaggerated arts, where she often draws inspiration.
While in primary school, Chelsea read many books in different genres – ‘Dork Diaries’ and ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’, David Walliams books, all the Roald Dahl books, with the most interesting being ‘Matilda’. However, Chelsea’s favourite book is either ‘Fuzzy Mud’ written by Louis Sachar or ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, written by Mark Haddon.