The Granny JJ Adventures:
Age range: 8+
Reading level: primary/middle school
Language: English (Creole)
What it is about?
The Granny JJ Adventures is a set of stories (9 in the first book, 7 in the second) about an old lady detective who solves mysteries in the towns and capital city of Guyana. Written in local Creole (English with words from other languages mixed in) it’s full of fun, great pictures and local proverbs.
Who is it for?
We’ve found a wide range of people enjoying it: pre-teens especially seem to pick up the language differences very quickly. People from all over the Carribean enjoy the stories and parents from that area whose children were born in the UK or USA (for example) find them valuable to show children what it can be like ‘back home’. The book has been bought by libraries for general reading, used in Black History month, and even by people from parts of Africa.
Who else likes it?
The book has been read by the President of Guyana, and the High Commisioner for Guyana, and also Neal Zetter, an award-winning children’s poet and author.
Where did the idea come from?
I, Joshua, was making up bedtime stories and ran out of material involving trolls chasing children and bad fairies. So I made up stories about my daughter’s grandmother who lives in Guyana. My wife Glenda encouraged me to write them down and soon enough we realised that perhaps we could create a valuable resource, not just for our daughter but also for the children of Guyana.
What was the hardest part of writing it?
Writing in Creole! My first language is British English so “Me nah know whah fuh do!” (I didn’t know what to do!) I wrote the stories in English and then got my wife and stepdaughter to translate the Creole for me (they are both Guyanese). I also reached to various people and they found other Guyanese who did some edits for me.
I found an illustrator in Northern Europe willing to take on the project (he had never been to the Caribbean) and he did an amazing job. I mean, just look at this picture (from the first book):
GRANNY JJ ADVENTURES VOLUME 2
In The Granny JJ Adventures Volume 2 you’ll find seven brand new stories from Granny JJ.
Join her as she invetigates:
- The Case of the Portable Parking Meters
- The Case of the Skulking Schoolboy
- The Case of the Double Bus Driver
- The Case of the Fake Holy Spirit
- The Case of the Disappearing Bandit
- The Case of the Super Secret Singer
- The Case of the Oil Well in the Yard