A Pirate Adventure for ALL! The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones
Our selection of books for girls has been chosen for discerning teachers and librarians who want to provide positive, active role models for girls. Choosing great books for girls requires more than a quick scan of the pink, glittery covers that are designed to be instantly recognisable as 'books for girls'. We think that choosing books for girls requires more thought. First and foremost we have chosen strong stories with diverse subjects and themes to appeal to the varied interests of girls.
Most of the books will also appeal to boys and we are not suggesting that only girls should have access to stories with strong female characters. A good story is a good story regardless of gender.
A new plucky heroine features in the Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt. Mabel presents a great feisty main character, and it’s wonderful to have an engaging heroine take the lead in a humorous, swashbuckling tale!
When Mabel Jones unknowingly commits “The Deed” she finds herself swiftly bundled into a sack on board the pirate ship the Feroshus Maggot and whisked off on the adventure of a lifetime. She’s tough, she’s clever and she isn’t scared at all.
We asked Will Mabbitt a few questions.
Where do you like to write?
I wrote my first book entirely on the train and I wrote my second book in libraries and cafes. I’ll write anywhere to be honest, even on the toilet. If I haven’t got my laptop and I’m not listening to what you are saying then I am writing in my head.
What do you read when you are not writing?
I’ll read literally anything. My family get annoyed with me because sometimes I dawdle in the street to read litter. I read books for all ages too. I’m really lucky because I like everything.
Why did you decide on a female central role character?
I don’t know. I didn’t really decide. I guess she chose me.
Ross Collins' illustrations are fabulous. We love that Mabel is sticking her tongue out in concentration on the cover. Who decided what Mabel would look like?
The look of all the characters are a collaboration between me and Ross. I come up with their personalities and Ross adds all the details. It’s really exciting when his roughs come through and I get to see them for the first time. Sometimes though he adds things that aren’t in the text. If they’re funny, and he’s not nearby I pretend to everyone that it was my idea.
We understand this book is aimed at 8-10 year olds. What are the main challenges of writing for this particular age group?
Even my own children are a mystery to me. I find it impossible to second guess what they will like so I don’t really write for a particular age group. In the case of The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones I wrote a story that I wanted to read. Hopefully whatever your age, you will find something to enjoy lurking within its pages.
What do we have to look forward to in the future?
I’m really excited because the second Mabel Jones book is out in February. It’s called Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City. The third one is also very nearly finished, and I have a picture book coming out next year too. It’s called Princess Pink Kitten and The Giant Robot Dinosaur.It’s illustrated by Fred Blunt who is brilliant.
We will be sure to bring The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones to schools through our roadshows in the autumn. If you would like to book a roadshow for your school please contact Anne@justimaginestorycentre.co.uk
Our discounted Books for Girls webpacks will made a great addition to a classroom or library collection, available for both Lower Key Stage 2 (7-9) and Upper Key Stage 2 (9-11). For a bespoke list to suit your needs contact firstname.lastname@example.org