Posted in Book Reviews

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Jem’s Clifftop Adventure: Jennifer Bell

SYNOPSIS:Jem, the original Fowey Pirate, is in Cornwall again. A bird spotting adventure unexpectedly becomes a matter of life or death as he tumbles into trouble on a cliff face and once again, it’s Jem to the rescue. He might not be the best bird spotter in Cornwall but he definitely keeps a cool head in tricky situations.
This is a charming tale of one boy’s love of adventure, Cornwall and birds, ideal for readers aged 6-7 and an entertaining picture book for younger children to enjoy at storytime.
Jem’s Clifftop Adventure follows the very successful Jem the Fowey Pirate – a best-selling children’s book in Fowey. Author Jennifer Bell takes the reader on a fun-packed escapade that is as much about the attractions of one of Cornwall’s most famous towns as it is about one boy’s resilience and curiosity. From Readymoney Cove and St Catherine’s Castle to choughs, cormorants and jackdaws, the author shares both her love of the area and her local knowledge through Jem’s journey. Holiday visitors can even take their children on their very own ‘Jem’s Adventure’ in the town of Fowey, including a ferry-boat trip to Polruan and a visit to the Coastwatch Lookout.

MY THOUGHTS: What struck me as both wonderful and refreshing is Jem’s relationship with his Grandfather. Although his main ‘goal’ is to explore, he still knows that when he gets into a pickle, he can rely on his Grandfather for help. Too often, Grandparents are a secondary character, an afterthought, in kid’s books. It was nice to see Grandfather as a heroic man.

While Jem does get into a bit of mischief when he knows he shouldn’t, he redeems himself with a selfless act of helping others. Again, a fabulous and timeless message for any age. Our author also includes ornithology. Three very distinct birds are mentioned. Jem searches for each, finds, then identifies them. Young readers who may not be familiar with Europe will be introduced to the town of Cornwall. This allows for a teachable moment if adults point out Cornwall on a map and discuss where Jem lives. Reading time can extend indefinitely as children and guardians explore Jem’s home.


Jennifer and her husband came to live in Cornwall in the early days of their marriage and set up a pottery. Her first book – ‘Pot Luck – living the dream in the West Country’ describes this adventure. She has written for most of her life, starting with making up stories at bedtime for her little sister. Now with a cupboard full of writing, mainly for children, her retirement project is to sort through this pile of stories and find one or two to publish

With great, colorful illustrations and easy-to-follow format, ‘Jem’s Clifftop Adventure’ is a solid, three-star book.

*Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.
**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.