Jam Sessions by Jerry Hardwood
Posted on 09/30/2020
Jam Sessions by Jerry HardwoodJam Sessions: Sometimes in Middle School, the Best Thing You Can Do is Survive by Jerry Harwood, is the Hamilton Book of the Week nominated by Hixson Middle School. Meet Phillip. His mom relocates him to a new school in the middle of the school year. Things do not go well. Phillip lands himself a trip to the dean of student's office when he tries to forge his mother's signature. Maybe if he spelled her name correctly, it would have gone better .Phillip also finds himself having more and more anxiety. And the song some bullies are singing is certainly not helping: "Phillip Willip, Puddin, and Pie. Got a bad grade and made him cry." There is one class Phillip has that is going well. It is with Mr. Filter, who starts each day with a writing prompt. These "jam sessions" allow students to be creative and enjoy writing. Phillip writes about being a basketball on a soccer field. Another day he writes about receiving two dragon eggs in the mail, one for himself and one for a particularly cute girl. But will Phillip ever be able to make his real life go as well as his Jam Sessions?

Jam Sessions author Jerry Harwood was born in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and teaches at Hixson Middle School. Also, Myles Richardson, a student at Hixson High School, was the illustrator of the book.

Editorial Reviews

five stars
from Amazon Readers

From Amazon.com:
"I just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a mental health therapist and worked with adolescents for several years. I highly recommend this book to parents of preteens and for any middle school-aged child (or younger) that is experiencing anxiety, feeling isolated, bullied, or going through upheaval. Being a middle schooler is difficult. It could also be very helpful as preventive maintenance - a way to open a dialogue with your preteen about how to handle the roller coaster on which they are about to embark.”

"It’s a page-turner that kept me engaged. I really cared about the characters, and actually became emotional while reading the epilogue. You have to buy this book. It can help us all grow lenses on how to help young people in their struggles. I think I may buy several to hand out as gifts.”

To check out more recommended books in the Hamilton Book of the Week at https://www.hcde.org/parents___students/suggested_reading.

Hamilton Book of the Week seeks to move Hamilton County Schools closer to district goals found in the Future Ready 2023 action plan. We hope to encourage kids to read more books for fun by sharing books popular at area schools.

Goals more students reading will address include:
• Reading improvement will increase the number of students on-track or mastering English language arts
• Improve the district ACT score to a district average of 21
• Reach the target goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2023