Remember your favourite teacher at school? Almost certainly he/she was the one that made lessons fly past, so compelling, enjoyable, sheer fun was the content. It's like that with Jack's Notebook. Gregg Fraley has managed to combine a rollicking yarn about love, loss and rescue with a clear guide to the principles and practice of Creative Problem Solving (CPS).
Fraley cleverly intertwines a strong plot with a step-by-step CPS process: the principal character learns about CPS and uses it to improve his life. It sounds contrived, but it works! The characters are three-dimensional, the plot is believable (in the main), and the CPS approach plays a vital role in the story's development.
If I have one criticism it is that the CPS message becomes a little subsumed in the chapters towards the end of the book. Fraley is trying to demonstrate a more 'real world' way to use CPS, moving forwards and backwards in the process organically, depending upon your needs at that time. However, the educational message gets diluted as the story reaches its exciting conclusion - in a way a testament to Fraley's story-telling skills.
However, this minor criticism should not detract from what is a very fine book of relevance to anyone interested in creativity - from employees within large companies to those interested in self-empowerment or personal innovation.