Books

Soon by Jessica Love

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Hey Everyone!

My husband is in the Royal Australian Air Force, so I always read the little section in my kids’ school newsletter from the Defence School Transition Aide.  A few weeks ago I read an announcement that Jess Love had published a book called Soon, that was about children coping with a parent on deployment. With a little help from Google, I was able to get in touch with the publisher, Ian Gordon,  who is ex military and very helpful. He provided me with an ebook copy of Soon to review and helped me get in touch with Jess for an interview. I had the privilege of chatting to Jess and her mum on the phone and asked her a few questions.

Jess started writing Soon when she was thirteen. It was one of her English assignments, five pages long, with simple hand drawn illustrations. Jess didn’t think it was anything special and was a bit shy about showing it to her mum. When she did though, her Mum had an even more emotional response than I did.

Jess’s mum contacted Aaron Blabey, an author of several popular Australian children’s books, in relation to another matter, and included those five pages at the end of the email, just to show him what her daughter had done (proud mummy moment). A couple of days later, Aaron replied, saying how impressed he was with Jess’s work and asking if she could write another six pages. With support from Aaron, Jess tidied up her story and looked at getting it published. She found that many publishers were ageist, not believing that a girl of fourteen could write something they would want to publish, and many wouldn’t even look at an unsolicited manuscript. Scholastic was very supportive, helping her further develop her book, almost publishing it themselves, but deciding that it was to niche for them. They advised she look for a smaller publishing house. After finding Echo Books, Jess decided to illustrate the book herself. I think she did an amazing job. With some financial support from the Defence Health, Soon is now out in the big wide world. Several hundred copies have been provided to children whose parent is deployed. At fourteen years of age, Jess was able to celebrate the official book launch of Soon on Friday, at Campbell Primary School, attended by the Chief of the Defence Force.

The official book launch for Soon

Jess’s tip for people wanting to write a book is “Don’t think you’re not good enough” and “Never give up”.

Jess told me that when kids are missing their parents, it is great to know that you’re not alone. To know that other kids are in the same situation and feeling the same way. To understand that what they are feeling is normal. Jess told me that it can be hard to talk to your parents sometimes, so a technique that might help is writing letters to get all your feelings out on paper. You don’t have to send the letter; it’s a way of helping yourself to understand how you feel.

 Jess is currently working on her next book, titled Sometimes. It will be a similar story to Soon, but delving deeper into the emotions evoked by separation and from an older child’s perspective.


Soon by Jessica Love


Soon is the powerful story of a little girl whose Dad deployed with the Australian Defence Force for over a year.

Evoking feelings of sadness, happiness, confusion, anticipation and hope, Soon provides an insight to the range of emotions a child may feel when a parent or loved one is away for any length of time.


A relative measure of time, soon can take but a heartbeat when deployment is looming or drag on for eternity when loved ones are due home.



Hey! Here's my review.


I was really impressed with the book and illustrations, and completely blown away when I discovered that Jess was only 13. The story is about her experience when she was seven.  Having a child of a similar age and knowing my husband with probably going away for several months in the not too distant future, it tugged at my heart strings. I tried to read it aloud to my mum when she was visiting last week, but the lump in my throat stopped me after about three pages.


The simple, repetitive prose would appeal to younger primary school children. This would be the perfect book to spark conversation about being temporarily separated from a parent and the way that makes you feel.

Sometimes soon comes too quickly, and sometimes it doesn't come quickly enough.



★★★★★ 


  • Where: Requested from publisher
  • Format: ebook



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