Foreword Reviews

Jamylah and the Giants

A Child's Expose of a Real World Cover-up of Ancient Alien Giants

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Jamylah and the Giants is an imaginative illustrated story in which a young girl is charged with restoring an ancient civilization.

Adrian Brooks Collins’s encouraging and engaging Jamylah and the Giants teaches compassion, environmentalism, and concern for nonhuman creatures.

On her eighth birthday, Jamylah suffers a head injury in the swimming pool. She has an out-of-body experience through which she encounters a giant alien with iridescent skin. The alien tells her that the giants’ ancient burial grounds have been plundered; they need her help to restore them.

Back in her body, Jamylah tells her parents what happened and makes a YouTube video asking for help in her mission. She receives it from a teacher, a librarian, and the president. She is also threatened by the NSA, men in black, and the Smithsonian Museum. After many ups and downs, her story comes to a gratifying end.

As a lead, Jamylah proves resilient. She has an uplifting, sympathetic attitude. Her unwillingness to give up when people doubt her moves the story. Her parents, the giants, and other characters round out the story well.

The book’s illustrations are bright, colorful, and playful, and characters and settings are rendered with skill. The motley style is also overwhelming, though. Some details are lost as the illustrations work to do too much at once. Other illustrations are at odds with the text next to them; some events occur before or after their corresponding illustrations.

The size of the pages and the quantity of illustrations suggest a picture book reading range, but the writing itself is more suited to middle graders. High-level terms prove precise and contextual, though spelling errors, missing quotation marks, and large swaths of text muddle the aesthetic.

The giant narrates first, but says that he wants Jamylah to tell the story; still, the narration slips between Jamylah’s perspective and an outside point-of-view. Subtle themes include encouragements to treat the environment with care and to respect the cultures of others. Opening material suggests that the giants’ existence is irrefutable, resulting in a conspiracy theory flavor, though one that does not dilute the entertainment or inspiration of the text.

Jamylah and the Giants is an imaginative illustrated story in which a young girl is charged with restoring an ancient civilization.

Reviewed by Aimee Jodoin

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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