The Books

John Jensen Feels Different

by Henrik Hovland

Paperback, 40 pages

Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (2011-12-16)

List Price: $16.00

Actual Price: $14.38

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Amazon Description

John J. Jensen feels that he’s different. He feels different when he eats his breakfast, when he brushes his teeth, when he sits in his office at work. Often he lies awake at night wondering what exactly it is that makes him different from everyone else. Maybe it’s his tail? Or his bow tie?

But with the help of Dr. Field, John J. Jensen discovers that perhaps he isn’t that different after all―and that he’s probably best off exactly the way he is.

One Potato Review

Hmm. Like, how different? On the surface of it, John Jensen would appear to be your average Norwegian crocodile – reading the paper at breakfast, taking the bus to the office, duck taping his insecurities where no one can see them – though what makes this finally very different from your average meditation on not-fitting-in is John Jensen seems the single Norwegian citizen to notice, fretting compulsively in the mirror, at family photographs (“Maybe I was adopted.”), and staring in bed at the ceiling. What’s that book folded across his reptilian chest? Why, The Stranger by Albert Camus. With deadpan apercus – “You see strange things in an emergency room.” – a heroic elephant doctor pulling double duty as a therapist, and a heartwarming wave from the king. Wallflowers take note: “Anyone who wears a bow is not afraid.” 

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