Juniper Berry MP Kozlowsky Book Review

I very much enjoy when books creep me out and give me goosebumps. Juniper Berry by MP Kozlowsky read in 2011 for the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon accomplished this. Juniper, the titular main character, has celebrity parents.  You’d think her life is baller, but lately her parents have been acting weird, with no time nor thoughts to spare for her. Juniper then makes a friend, Giles, who is a lonely and neglected boy dealing with the same issues as her.

Juniper Berry, MP Kozlowsky, Book Cover

Juniper Berry

Together, Juniper Berry (yes that’s her full name) and Giles set out to discover why their parents are acting weird. The investigation leads to an underworld where basically Skeletor is in charge and bargaining with red balloons filled with secrets. Juniper Berry by MP Kozlowsky is an imaginative read filled with themes of temptation – what you want vs. what you need.

Y’all Juniper Berry is terrifying. I mean, imagine being a kid and waking up with parents  who all of a sudden don’t acknowledge your existence. That sucks. THEN you find the underworld in your backyard and have to battle the villain from He-Man. That is what I call a hard knock life, bro. Horror ALL AROUND Y’ALL!

What I enjoyed besides the fact that there is a dog that does not die (YEAH BUDDY) is the moral dilemma that MP Kozlowsky presents for kids. Juniper Berry does not contain condescending writing, meaning it’s not written down, nor is the moral in stark black and white. There’s a gray area where the readers can see there are nuances in both choices — doing the easy thing or the right thing.

Frankly, Juniper Berry by MP Kozlowsky is a book I’d tell you to read in the fall or a rainy day, being an atmosphere reader myself. I distinctly remember a rainy scene and the kids wandering around in the woods always conjure fall for me. Juniper Berry is an interesting selection if you are fine with horror and bigger questions.

Disclosure: Borrowed from the library.

This is a CYBILS book.

Other reviews of Juniper Berry by MP Kozlowsky:

The Book Monsters
Charlotte’s Library
The Happy Nappy Book Seller
The Book Smugglers
The Book Rat

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’ve really been loving all the MG books you’ve been reviewing lately. Everytime I think that MG is not my style, I remind myself of my true love for HP and the gang, and I look at MG with a fresh eye. All the books you’ve featured sound terrific, and as I love the terrifying ones myself, I’m looking forward to giving this one a whirl!

    • They really are wonderful, and I have to say that when it comes to MG if you are looking for some really special reads, I would check out anything Walden Pond Press -an imprint of Harper- puts out. All that I’ve read from them have been winners.

  2. This sounds absolutely amazing, absolutely perfect for me. I’ve seen it around. In fact, I think I remember a big online magazine campaign for it which was way cool. The cover is stellar and the horrifying storyline sounds legit. BUT…

    I really love the way you present the moral dilemma. —> “…moral dilemma that MP Kozlowsky presents for kids. Juniper Berry does not contain condescending writing, meaning it’s not written down, nor is the moral in stark black and white. There’s a gray area where the readers can see there are nuances in both choices — doing the easy thing or the right thing.”

    Not only do I find that solid, but my kids would too. They’re young: 8, 8, and 6 – but this sounds like something that they’d love at some point because they love the books with the gray areas that encourage talking and all that stuff. They’re very bookish and nerdy just like me.

    • Your kids seem like they are awesome. I mean, it’s really cool that you raise them to discussing things and to like books. And yeah, the storyline is legit. And it does not present easy, obvious choices. I loved that. I think your kids will too from what you just said.

  3. LOVE the name–it’s so a celebrity kid name. And it does sound very scary, especially for younger readers, but I’d love it. And thank god the dog doesn’t die because nothing pisses me off more. Damn dying dogs.

  4. Skeletor always scared the crap out of me as a kid. That’s scary enough, though I have to admit, from the cover, I would have never guessed that this book would be so creepy. It sounds like a fantastic read, though, so I”m adding it to my list on Goodreads. Plus, I always try to make an attempt to read CYBILS books (and every other awarded book out there. See why I have such a big list?).

    • CYBILS books are awesome, but I can tell you as a panelist we had some that had me scratching my head going WHY ON EARTH WOULD SOMEONE NOMINATE THIS.

      That said, Juniper Berry is fantastic and creepy and worth your time.

  5. Yay! One of the things I absolutely loved about this was the moral dilemma thing, and that Kozlowsky doesn’t write down to kids or act like they don’t sometimes face tough choices.

  6. There’s something about that cover that always makes me take notice. (I’m really just a sucker for a good MG cover) After your review I think I’ll have to add it to my TBR. For a rainy day, of course.

  7. ooOOoo I must read this cover-wonderful book. Probably not during the evening.

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