Finding Jade: Daughters of Light

Finding Jade: Daughters of Light

by Mary Jennifer Payne.
Dundurn Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-45973-5002
$12.99 (sc), 216 pp, young adult

Finding Jade is a short novel, set in the year 2030, when the world has been hit hard by climate change. The story follows a young girl named Jasmine. Jasmine has a sad life involving a terminally ill mother and a missing twin sister. Things are getting better for Jasmine as she finds out that the new school she chose mysteriously doesn’t have her in their records. Instead she ends up starting ninth grade at Beaconsfield Collegiate which surprisingly has a large number of twins. Jasmine finds herself in a new world, learning that she and her lost twin sister Jade are Seers. Seers play the role of protecting the world from demons. As Jasmine continues her journey of learning about her true self, coping with her terminally ill mother and lost sister, she comes to learn that her lost twin is alive and is trapped in a demon-filled realm called the Place-in-Between. During her adventure Jasmine meets a boy named Raphael who helps her to find Jade.

What I liked about this book is Jasmine’s self-discovery. At the beginning of the story, Jasmine is lost and doesn’t have much to live for. She struggles to deal with the fact her mother will die from poor health and that her twin will never come back. As she continues to learn more about being a Seer, Jasmine begins to feel a sense of belonging. Her newfound passion is increased when Jasmine discovers Jade is alive. This book is filled with so much depth that I was honestly shocked to find I had finished reading it within a few hours and convinced myself the novel was much longer.

I really recommend this book for grades 9 and 10. This is a very good novel to start discussions on identity and overcoming personal challenges. As a warning, this book does deal with the hard topic of grief. Although we might disregard fantasy novels as discussion starters, I believe the author has set the stage well in Finding Jade.

Review by Rosie, age 17, grade 12.

This review appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine.

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