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The Boy in the Jam Jar: A Bloomsbury Reader

Written by Joyce Dunbar

Illustrated by John Shelley

Part of the Bloomsbury Readers Series

Key Stage 2 Family / Home Stories Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Reading Scheme School Stories Short Stories

LoveReading View on The Boy in the Jam Jar: A Bloomsbury Reader

Moving story of a boy who is lost but finds himself again

Book Band: Lime Ideal for ages 6+

Dylan dreams that he’s living in a jam jar, cut off from his family, in a silent world. In fact, he’s losing his hearing and that brings all sorts of issues. He doesn’t like how loud the world is with his hearing aids in, doesn’t like the way the others in his class treat him differently now; and he feels that without sound to anchor him he’s somehow floating away. It takes a hair-raising experience, and the quick-thinking and love of his dog Pluto to bring him back down to earth. In the new Bloomsbury Readers series, this story is written specifically for children just growing reading confidence and understanding, with short chapters and illustrations on every page. Nonetheless, the story is subtle and moving, with lots to prompt discussion and reflection. There are questions to share with children at the end to help them get the most from the story.

Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.


Andrea Reece

More About This Book

The Bloomsbury Readers series is packed with brilliant books to get children reading independently in Key Stage 2, with book-banded stories by award-winning authors like double Carnegie Medal winner Geraldine McCaughrean and Waterstones Prize winner Patrice Lawrence, covering a wide range of genres and topics.

With charming illustrations and online guided reading notes written by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), this series is ideal for reading both in the classroom and at home. 

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The Boy in the Jam Jar: A Bloomsbury Reader Synopsis

A powerful and personal story from Joyce Dunbar about what it's like to experience hearing difficulties.

Dylan can't hear as well as he used to be able to and he doesn't want to be different from his friends - he wants to be able to hear like everyone else. As his hearing gets worse he becomes more and more isolated from his friends. Luckily his dog Pluto is there to keep him down to earth...

This heartwarming story from Joyce Dunbar has beautiful black-and-white illustrations by John Shelley and is perfect for children who are developing as readers. 

The Boy in the Jam Jar: A Bloomsbury Reader Press Reviews

Dunbar very cleverly and sensitively explains what it means to be deaf in a story that is also full of drama, together with some very accurate depictions of everyday school life. - Books for Keeps

Joyce Dunbar is one of the best writers for children today. - The Guardian

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472973931
Publication date: 9th July 2020
Author: Joyce Dunbar
Illustrator: John Shelley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Education an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 80 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Body / Health, Disability / Special Needs, Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , Reading Scheme, School Stories, Short Stories

About Joyce Dunbar

Joyce Dunbar was born and brought up in Lincolnshire. She taught English for 20 years before becoming a full-time writer. Her books for children include This is the Star, which became a world-wide best-seller, and Mundo and the Weatherchild, which was runner-up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. The popular Mouse and Mole series has been animated for television with the voices of Alan Bennett and Richard Briers. She lives in Norwich. Read the author's Q&A here.

More About Joyce Dunbar

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