Justin, Jay-Jay and the Juvenile Dinkent


112 pages
ISBN 0-590-71675-1






Reviewed by Andrew Dewar

Andrew Dewar was a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, and on the staff of the North York Public Library.


There is something faintly dangerous-sounding about the premise of Paul Kropp’s Justin, Jay-Jay, and the Juvenile Dinkent.

Justin and Jason are left in the care of Fred, a one-time juvenile delinquent. Fred is pretty level-headed and responsible, despite his past, but he cannot face the problems that come up. Instead of staying at home while babysitting the kids, he takes them out in his truck, and of course when trouble crops up he runs away. In the end Fred becomes a hero by saving his nemesis from a potential train wreck, but not without endangering the two kids first.

Fortunately (at least I suppose it to be fortunate), the characters are too wooden to be taken seriously. Justin is a wisecracker who becomes insufferable after a few pages. Fred is self-consciously odd. Jason, the narrator, is at heart a stodgy 40-year-old who doesn’t see anything interesting about the story from the beginning. No reader will become interested in this story if the central characters don’t like it.

I don’t like the idea of babysitters being allowed to behave irresponsibly and get away with it, but I can’t imagine people being influenced by the book either.


Kropp, Paul, “Justin, Jay-Jay and the Juvenile Dinkent,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/35241.