Finn Jones Was Here – Simon James Green

Despite attending his best friend Finn’s funeral, Eric starts receiving letters from him, which leads him on a madcap scavenger hunt. Eric is sure that Finn will be waiting for him at the end of the challenge… will he be able to accept that his best friend has passed away and what will he learn about himself during this time?

When I heard the plot of Finn Jones Was Here, I instantly knew I’d enjoy it as it sounded like a book which would be really important for children. Having read it, I would also argue it is a very important read for adults too as it had me both laughing and crying throughout. Loss and the impact it has on us is still quite a taboo subject but Simon’s beautiful, sensitive tale of a 12 year old coming to terms with his best friend’s death is an essential book for your bookshelves because it will enable important conversations and support readers with their own grief.

It’s great that Finn Jones Was Here has been endorsed by Child Bereavement UK because it shows children that it’s okay for happy and sad emotions to co-exist when you’re grieving. One of the stages of grief – acceptance – is a hard one to get through and it’s heartbreaking seeing Eric going through Finn’s challenges in that attempt to get to see him again; I defy anyone reading it not to cry at that beautiful, inevitable ending! It’s a topic which will resonate with so many readers, even for myself yesterday I phoned my mum and she said she was with my grandparents; I instantly pictured her in their home for a second when she meant she was at the cemetery. It was a silly thought but Simon really captures the importance of memories along with grief.

Definitely one of my favourite books of 2023 so far, Finn Jones Was Here will break your heart but give you hope and celebrate making every second count. Sad, heartwarming and funny, Finn Jones Was Here shows Simon’s extraordinary talent at blending laughter and tears. Thanks Scholastic for my copy and I’ll be wearing my chip-eating seagull pin with pride as I recommend this astonishing book to anyone I meet! I haven’t mentioned Jennifer’s illustrations yet but they really add to the story and are equally beautiful.

Suggested reading age: 9+

Finn Jones Was Here is written by Simon James Green and illustrated by Jennifer Jamieson. It will be published by Scholastic on 11th May 2023. Why not preorder a copy from an indie bookshop?

Published by Tom G

Avid reader. Dad of 2. Husband. Assistant Headteacher.

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