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Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop    by Mary Quattlebaum order for
Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop
by Mary Quattlebaum
Order:  USA  Can
Yearling, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Ten-year old Jackson Jones 'carries the banner' for yet another cause. This time it's to prevent Drane and Company from bulldozing Rooter's, the community garden. Jackson's Mama rented small Plot 5-1, in his name, even though its quite weedy. He planted a rose bush, which sure is taking its sweet time to bloom. There's also a bully in the neighborhood - Howard, aka Blood Green has a chest as big as a battleship!

Mr. Mosely grows very-large zucchini, Mr. Kerring tends to his beet greens and leeks all in perfect rows, and talks about the Victory Gardens of the 1940s. Jackson's other good neighbors and mean-well friends are Juana and Reuben, plus Gaby and Ro Rivera, who are loud and annoying. Mama has a green thumb for nursing indoor plants back to health, such as a thrown-away ficus, now so huge it's taking over their apartment. She decides to enroll in courses for landscape design on top of her regular employment. Jackson pitches in, cooking and cleaning, yet his rose bush just sits there in the dirt. In the meantime, Juana et al stage protest marches and night vigils, with banners reading 'Save the Garden', 'Root for Rooter's', and 'Mother Nature Now'. And just when Jackson's rose bush decides to bloom with four big red roses ... uh, oh!

Mary Quattlebaum's specialty in the fast-paced tales of Jackson Jones is her witty dialog, as when Jackson muses '"Huh, if Mama wanted to study to be a plant doctor, well, I could take care of myself." I would live to eat those words. Boiled, broiled, breaded, and baked'.

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