Cover image for Mighty Jack
Title:
Mighty Jack
Author:
Hatke, Ben, author, artist.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : First Second, 2016.
Physical Description:
203 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 22 cm.
Summary:
Jack dreads summer because his single mother has to work and leaves him at home with his boring little sister who is autistic. She doesn't talk at all. Ever. But one day while they are at a flea market, she does talk. She tells Jack to trade their mother's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made!
Language:
English
Reading Level:
GN 200 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 2.1 0.5 183236.
ISBN:
9781626722651

9781626722644
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Jack might be the only kid in the world who's dreading summer. But he's got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It's a lot of responsibility, and it's boring, too, because Maddy doesn't talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk--to tell Jack to trade their mom's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made.

In Mighty Jack , what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything...a dragon.


Author Notes

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times- bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the picture books Julia's House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin , and the graphic novels Little Robot and Mighty Jack . He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jack knows the seeds from the mysterious flea market vendor weren't worth the keys to his mom's car, but his younger sister, Maddy, who's autistic and rarely speaks, is uncharacteristically insistent they take them. Their beleaguered mom isn't happy, but she's too busy working two jobs for the summer to pay much attention, and anyway, Maddy seems enlivened by their new backyard garden. But it's just as well she hasn't looked too close, since those blooming plants are . . . odd. Hatke's aptitude for fantastic creatures is marvelously on display in the magical plants, which straddle the line between botanicals and beasts. They loom large in the margins of scenes, allowing the action to focus on Jack, Maddy, and their neighbor Lily, who spend their summer playfully battling their crops. Meanwhile, the plants seem to be getting stronger, and Jack starts to worry, perhaps too much, about his sister. With expert visual storytelling, an empowering team of kid adventurers, and a tantalizing cliff-hanger, this series starter will easily please Hatke's legion of followers.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In Hatke's reworking of "Jack and the Beanstalk," Jack must care for his younger sister, Maddy, while his single mother holds down two jobs over the summer. Maddy doesn't speak, but she's entranced by the magic seeds she and Jack pick up from a shady dealer at a flea market, in exchange for their mother's car keys. Once they plant them, their home-schooled, sword-wielding neighbor Lilly is curious about their new garden, too-a little too curious. Hatke (Little Robot) revels in drawing the fantasy plants: green hands that reach out and grab, tiny onion-headed creatures, melons with teeth. Jack and Lilly argue about how to handle them: "These plants are dangerous!" he protests. "Open your eyes, Jack," Lilly retorts. "Just because something's dangerous doesn't make it evil." There's action and menace aplenty, including a dragon whose ferocity only Maddy can quell, and flashes of intimacy, too, as when Jack's mother's anger melts into compassion as she sees her son in tears, or when Maddy suddenly speaks. Jack's desperate efforts to juggle the needs of three complex female characters drive this sensitive retelling. The cliffhanger ending promises a sequel. Ages 10-14. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Sept.)? © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Hatke, the author of Julia's House for Lost Creatures and the popular "Zita the Spacegirl" series, returns to the land of heroes with a modern-day reimagining of "Jack and the Beanstalk." Jack is the oldest child of a divorced single mom doing her best to keep the family fed. On a trip to the flea market, Jack's sister, Maddy, who is autistic and never speaks, convinces Jack to swap the family car for a packet of seeds. Adventure soon follows, and Jack finds himself planting a garden that produces a variety of strange and bizarre creatures, meeting the neighbor girl, dealing with his sister, and even encountering a dragon. Hatke deftly weaves in real-world issues as well, such as mother-son relationships, special-needs siblings, and divorced homes. He is in brilliant form here, balancing appropriate dialogue with vibrant, visually engaging images that move the narrative along. Those who enjoy this series starter will want to look out for Jack's future escapades. VERDICT This title will do well with graphic novel readers, fairy-tale fans, struggling readers, and anyone who enjoys good storytelling.-John Trischitti, Midland County Public Libraries, TX © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.