Posted in Adventure, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Humor, Steampunk, Tween Reads

Book Review: Calamity Jack, by Shannon and Dean Hale (illus. by Nathan Hale) (Bloomsbury, 2010)

Recommended for ages 9-12

Calamity Jack is the sequel to the graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge and gives readers the backstory on Rapunzel’s buddy, Jack. Like Rapunzel, this is a fun, new take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale geared to attract older readers.

When readers first meet Jack in Rapunzel’s Revenge, he’s a guy on the run. Calamity Jack tells the story of why he’s on the run and who he’s running from – a kid who can’t stay out of trouble, Jack ends up getting himself, and by extension, his mother, into trouble with the local giants that run his town. He steals a goose that he hears is due to lay a golden egg and goes on the run, hoping that any golden eggs will pay for the destruction of his mother’s bakery. After his early adventures with Rapunzel, she accompanies him back to his hometown where they hope to reunite Jack with his mother – and find the town under siege by giant ants, his mother a prisoner of the giants, and a sneaking suspicion that the giants are at the heart of all the town’s problems.

Anyone who enjoyed Rapunzel will enjoy Calamity Jack. Written in the same fun spirit, the authors give equal time to the main male and female characters with their own adventures. Graphic novels are a good way to reach male readers, and turning a fairy tale into an adventure tale is a smart way to draw in those readers who may feel they are “too old” for these books.
 
Newbery Award-winning author (for Princess Academy) Shannon Hale writes for ‘tweens, teens, and adults. Her husband, children’s author Dean Hale, wrote Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack, with Ms. Hale. Ms. hale’s blog offers links to information about her books, events and games. She also offers a list of favorite books for both children and adults, including some recommendations by her husband.

Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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