Mighty Jack (Mighty Jack, #1)
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.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.

Mighty Jack (Mighty Jack, #1) Details

TitleMighty Jack (Mighty Jack, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 6th, 2016
PublisherFirst Second
ISBN-139781626722651
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Adventure, Comics

Mighty Jack (Mighty Jack, #1) Review

  • Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    Ben Hatke has written some of my older son's favorite comics.While that's high praise of sorts, it doesn't really do his work justice. I also really enjoy the comics Ben writes. They're good stuff. And maybe most important of all, I'm delighted for my boy to read them, given that they're... well... for lack of a better word, healthy.By this I mean that they're full of good things. People loving each other. Children being honest to their parents. Bravery. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. And that's all Ben Hatke has written some of my older son's favorite comics.While that's high praise of sorts, it doesn't really do his work justice. I also really enjoy the comics Ben writes. They're good stuff. And maybe most important of all, I'm delighted for my boy to read them, given that they're... well... for lack of a better word, healthy.By this I mean that they're full of good things. People loving each other. Children being honest to their parents. Bravery. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. And that's all on top of the fact that they're *really* good stories. Full of mystery, magic, adventure, good characters, drama, good worldbuilding, etc.But yeah. Highly recommended, and doubly recommended if you have a kid.
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn’t stop reading this original retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk in graphic novel format. Ben Hatke did a good job of mixing fantastic and realistic elements, keeping us grounded while teasing our imagination with peculiar creatures. It’s summer, and like every summer, Jack is left to take care of his autistic sister, Maddy, while his mom works two jobs. One day, he trades his mom’s car for a box full of seeds. Planting these seeds, he discovers they have magical properties and give bir I couldn’t stop reading this original retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk in graphic novel format. Ben Hatke did a good job of mixing fantastic and realistic elements, keeping us grounded while teasing our imagination with peculiar creatures. It’s summer, and like every summer, Jack is left to take care of his autistic sister, Maddy, while his mom works two jobs. One day, he trades his mom’s car for a box full of seeds. Planting these seeds, he discovers they have magical properties and give birth to plants with a mind of their own. Fortunately, they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, they attract a certain dangerous dragon. Jack thought his summer would be uneventful—he was wrong. As you can see, there is no second magical realm in the skies Jack climbs to. He doesn’t fight giants, but he does fight malevolent creatures. His love for his sister makes him act protectively toward her. He grows as a character, gaining strength and courage. I wouldn’t mind reading more about him. The friend he makes—the fierce Lilly—helps him keep the garden in control. These are three-dimensional protagonists who make this story. The art isn’t extravagant. It’s simple but it works. I’m actually reading this other graphic novel—Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant—and while the art is extraordinary, the story lacks the quality of this particular book. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • David Schaafsma
    January 1, 1970
    Mighty Jack is a new graphic novel series for children, including tweens, by the author of the popular Zita the Spacegirl series. I think you can expect this one will be popular, too. Based on the familiar Jack and the Beanstalk story, focused on Jack’s finding his strength by facing monsters, this version has Jack with a single mother working two jobs, both days and evenings, and Jack having to take care of his autistic sister Maddy. Jack takes Maddy to a fair, loses her for a time, and makes a Mighty Jack is a new graphic novel series for children, including tweens, by the author of the popular Zita the Spacegirl series. I think you can expect this one will be popular, too. Based on the familiar Jack and the Beanstalk story, focused on Jack’s finding his strength by facing monsters, this version has Jack with a single mother working two jobs, both days and evenings, and Jack having to take care of his autistic sister Maddy. Jack takes Maddy to a fair, loses her for a time, and makes an (improbable) exchange (replacing the cow from the original story!) of his mother’s car keys for a box of seeds. As Mom tells him (and anyone can see), she needs him to grow up a little bit and be better at helping out. The fun begins, as you might suspect, when some of the seeds get planted, and it is clear from the start that this garden (oh, yes, not a beanstalk, here) is not paradise. Home-schooled neighbor Lily gets involved in the fray, teaching Jack swordplay (role reversal, yay) but it’s not entirely if she is a great friend or not in this enterprise. But she tells him, not all dangerous things are evil. So we’ll see about that. There’s more danger than safety in this first volume, just to say.Some Zita characters show up, so that’s fun. Swords are wielded, genres are bended, we have Maddy, who typically never speaks, who speaks to Jack about the seeds, and she seems to have some special knowledge about this seed/garden world. Still, she makes a mistake in planting a seed near the end of this volume that creates. . . a cliffhanger.Overall, the art is great, the story okay, from my perspective, but all the 10-12 year olds in my house thought it was great, which kicks my 3.5 rating up to a 4.
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  • Rebecca McNutt
    January 1, 1970
    I was really impressed by this graphic novel. Expecting it to be another old cutesy middle grade family novel, I was surprised to find that it dealt with some heavy-handed themes while still carrying a message about the importance of imagination and family unity.
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  • First Second Books
    January 1, 1970
    This is the start of yet another amazing series by the wonderful Ben Hatke!Mighty Jack is vivid and sensitive modern-day graphic novel retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. It's Ben Hatke's best yet—and if you think we say that often, it's because Ben Hatke's works grow increasingly more awesome every time! We are very proud of Mighty Jack and hope that the readers come to love it as much as we do.
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  • Misty
    January 1, 1970
    This review was part of a blog tour in which I also talked about my 2 favorite fairy tale adaptations, so if you'd like to hear me gush about those, make sure to check out the full post. Mighty Jack is a retelling of one of my "problem" fairy tales, Jack and the Beanstalk. Like all kids, I loved this tale as a kid, because it frankly doesn't get much more silly or whimsical than this (in mainstream fairy tales, at least). THAT SAID, even as a kid, Jack really bothered me. REALLY bothered me. I m This review was part of a blog tour in which I also talked about my 2 favorite fairy tale adaptations, so if you'd like to hear me gush about those, make sure to check out the full post. Mighty Jack is a retelling of one of my "problem" fairy tales, Jack and the Beanstalk. Like all kids, I loved this tale as a kid, because it frankly doesn't get much more silly or whimsical than this (in mainstream fairy tales, at least). THAT SAID, even as a kid, Jack really bothered me. REALLY bothered me. I mean, selling the cow for beans is bad enough (you fool!), but repeatedly breaking into a giant's house and stealing his ish is a whole other level — and then Jack has THE NERVE to kill the giant over it! And is considered a hero!That's messed up.So Jack and the Beanstalk has never sat right with me, even though I still kinda love it. (It's iconic!) But a Ben Hatke retelling of the story. . . now that's something I can get behind. Hatke interprets the tale in very clever modern ways, but the smartest thing he's done is to capitalize on the whimsy while also giving Jack a lot of heart. He's not the thoughtless, foolish, selfish boy of the original, but a caring, compassionate and only-sometimes-foolish brother, son, and friend. Circumstances (and beans. Lots of beans) conspire against him to make him seem thoughtless, when really he's trying so hard, and has so much weight on his young shoulders, and it makes for such an engaging and sympathetic take on the character. He's a young kid who genuinely cares for and is trying to protect his overworked mother and autistic sister, and he kinda keeps drawing the short straw— mostly due to magic beans. (Of all kinds. Hand-beans that throw things at you. Beans that explode. Beans that want to eat you...) One of my favorite things about Hatke's stories is the amazing female characters he creates. I'd imagine it's in large part due to the gaggle of fierce, creative, amazing daughters he has, but whatever the reason, these are the types of stories and characters I longed for (and struggled to find) as a kid. Of course, his characters are great across the board, always; it's one of the things he excels at, and one of the reasons I love his stories so. And he always gets me with those damn quirky, should-be-inanimate characters. Rocks. Robots. An onion/turnip/mandrake thingy that, okay, I don't even know what is this or why, but I love it and I want one.(But a not-probably-evil one. A Gizmo, not a gremlin.) And of course, the art is fantastic. The line work is delicate and fantastical, the coloring soft and dreamy, and all of it expressive and clean and beautiful. I've never, in any of Hatke's books, had a single complaint about the art or his ability to craft a story. (And fans of the Zita series might see a familiar face or two...)Also, it's really funny; did I mention that it was really funny?And that's probably all I should say, other than: you should definitely pick this up. If you're a fairy tale fan, pick it up. If you're a Ben Hatke fan, pick it up. If you're a comic and graphic novel fan, pick it up. If you have kids (in your classroom; visiting your library; expelled from your uterus), pick it up and read it with them. It has the heart and the art I've come to associate with Ben Hatke, and both of things are all you really need to know to know it's going to be good.And I'll just be over here, *patiently* waiting for book 2....and, err... Sorry for all of the ellipses and parentheses and em-dashes and run-ons... I ramble when I talk about fairy tales and things I like.
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  • Annye
    January 1, 1970
    Mighty Jack is a bit light on plot – I felt like it ended right as it got going – but its beautiful, simple artwork, tantalizing world-building, and delightful characters and relationships do a great job of making up for it.I don’t love this one quite as much as Zita the Spacegirl, but where Zita is more fantastic, Mighty Jack remains grounded in real life. I think Hatke deserves a whole lot of credit for dealing with some really sensitive topics in a middle grade book.Read more of my reviews (p Mighty Jack is a bit light on plot – I felt like it ended right as it got going – but its beautiful, simple artwork, tantalizing world-building, and delightful characters and relationships do a great job of making up for it.I don’t love this one quite as much as Zita the Spacegirl, but where Zita is more fantastic, Mighty Jack remains grounded in real life. I think Hatke deserves a whole lot of credit for dealing with some really sensitive topics in a middle grade book.Read more of my reviews (plus cat pics!) on Her Little Book Review.
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  • Raina
    January 1, 1970
    Professional-voiced review:This garden is out of control! Jack and his sister, Maddy, procure seeds from a mysterious vendor at a flea market. Soon, they find themselves battling carnivorous vegetation with their new friend, sword-wielding Lilly. Hatke is known for his blockbuster series, “Zita the Spacegirl,” and here, he introduces a new family and epic adventure set in the same universe as Zita. There are several crossover characters from the Zita stories, and the ending of this first volume Professional-voiced review:This garden is out of control! Jack and his sister, Maddy, procure seeds from a mysterious vendor at a flea market. Soon, they find themselves battling carnivorous vegetation with their new friend, sword-wielding Lilly. Hatke is known for his blockbuster series, “Zita the Spacegirl,” and here, he introduces a new family and epic adventure set in the same universe as Zita. There are several crossover characters from the Zita stories, and the ending of this first volume leads the reader to expect more familiar faces or places. The plot also borrows some elements from the classic fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Maddy is autistic, introducing a welcome ability-diverse character to Hatke’s universe. Though an astute reader might wish for more visible or cultural diversity, there is potential for improvement in this area in future volumes. This is the first time Hatke has depended upon colorists for an entire published work, but his previous quality level is sustained, and readers will not notice any lack of continuity in his aesthetic. He varies his panel and page layout, ensures the story is well-paced and easy to follow, and keeps his characters distinct. A surefire hit with fans of Hatke’s oeuvre, and heartily recommended for all libraries serving children, teens, or a general audience.Less-so/Other stuff:Single-parent families, SCA/reenactment-type groups, J romance, female-identified people teaching male-identified people how to sword fight, superpowered plants with moral nuance, scifi/fantasy questionmark, necessity of lying bc the truth is unbelievable, genrebending, sagas, parent/child conflict, epics, financial woes, giant snails, dragons apparently made of plant matter tho I totally didn't catch that till someone pointed it out.I follow both Hatke and his wife, Anna, on Instagram, and there's a lot of this book that seems ripped straight from their lives. The house looks kinda like theirs, the characters look like their family, the ancient weapons in modern setting thing is straight from his world. That's another reason the white white whiteness didn't bug me as much as it might in other authors/books - the characters are a straight-up tribute to his wife/the characters of Jack and Lilly are very very much modeled on them. And Maddy is Jack's sister, so there wasn't a lot of room for varying skin tones in those three core characters.Although.Maybe....Hmm....That might be a thing nuanced/astute/WNDB readers might discuss.Anyway, this is great. From my perspective. But feel free to fix my ignorance, if we've got any Ghosts on our hands.
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  • Zaz
    January 1, 1970
    A fun retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, in a graphic novel format, with a pleasant art, modern new ideas and some nice diversity in the cast.I didn't think I'd enjoy this one so much. The story was interesting, I liked this peculiar family with its single mom and its autistic kiddo. You don't see that often in books and especially in graphic novels. Jack was likable, I enjoyed to see his relationship with his sister in various situations, it showed well that you can have warm relationships/in A fun retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, in a graphic novel format, with a pleasant art, modern new ideas and some nice diversity in the cast.I didn't think I'd enjoy this one so much. The story was interesting, I liked this peculiar family with its single mom and its autistic kiddo. You don't see that often in books and especially in graphic novels. Jack was likable, I enjoyed to see his relationship with his sister in various situations, it showed well that you can have warm relationships/interactions when you are different from one other. The gardening part and the paranormal stuff associated was really pleasant to discover, with some very lively art and nice designs, even if the fight scenes were a little tiresome after a moment. I was thrilled to see several characters from Hatke's other series, liked almost all the cast of Mighty Jack, but really couldn't deal with Lilly (I found her, at best, annoying and rude). Overall, always a pleasure for the eyes to enter another Hatke's work and I appreciated again he's way to tell a story. I'm looking forward to read the sequel.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    My son and I read this separately and both enjoyed it. He immediately asked for the next book in the series. The illustrations are bright and delightfully evocative, the story moves along briskly, and the heavy burdens on Jack's shoulders are dealt with respectfully and delicately. It's great seeing an autistic main character. Also, as a homeschool family, I love seeing a homeschooled character. We checked this out from the library but will be buying our own copy, and I've added the series to my My son and I read this separately and both enjoyed it. He immediately asked for the next book in the series. The illustrations are bright and delightfully evocative, the story moves along briskly, and the heavy burdens on Jack's shoulders are dealt with respectfully and delicately. It's great seeing an autistic main character. Also, as a homeschool family, I love seeing a homeschooled character. We checked this out from the library but will be buying our own copy, and I've added the series to my watch list so that we can get the next book as soon as it comes out. I might let my kid read the next book first. Maybe.
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  • Austin Poulin
    January 1, 1970
    Graphic novels are not my favorite genre to read but, in the book there was a good mix between fantasy and adventure which was amusing to read. The illustrations in the book clearly described how the characters were feeling and how they interacted with each other. All and all this was a good book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure, fantasy, and action... or someone who is looking for a quick read.
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  • Jillian Heise
    January 1, 1970
    This was SOOO good! Adventure, family, relationships, magic, mystery...it's all there in this graphic novel. Kids are going to love this one! I guarantee this would be passed around student to student in my classroom and not be on the shelf again until the end of the year. I only wish I could read the next one already!!
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    What a neat twist on the original Jack and the Beanstalk folktale! In this modern setting, Jack dreads summer because he needs to watch over his younger sister, Maddy, who in on the autism spectrum and does not speak. But his overworked mother has no choice but to depend on her son for help. When they visit a flea market and Jack is persuaded to trade the keys to their mother's car for a container of seeds, Jack does so because of his sister. The seeds turn out to be quite special, and the garde What a neat twist on the original Jack and the Beanstalk folktale! In this modern setting, Jack dreads summer because he needs to watch over his younger sister, Maddy, who in on the autism spectrum and does not speak. But his overworked mother has no choice but to depend on her son for help. When they visit a flea market and Jack is persuaded to trade the keys to their mother's car for a container of seeds, Jack does so because of his sister. The seeds turn out to be quite special, and the garden grows rapidly and wildly, and some of the vegetables are more than a little bit fierce and downright dangerous. But Maddy loves the garden despite how out of control it is becoming. When Lilly, a homeschooled neighbor, gets involved, the three are able to play all sorts of games and take advantage of the magic that surrounds them. When Maddy is injured and the garden becomes increasingly dangerous, Jack destroys it, leading to Maddy's depression and an unexpected kidnapping. All this sets up the need for Jack and Lilly to follow where she's gone. There is little doubt that intermediate and middle grade readers will be eagerly awaiting the next installment of this graphic novel series. There are several characters that will surely be developed further as they become more important. While Jack understandably wants to protect his sister, it is also clear that something that is dangerous or mysterious isn't necessarily evil, as Lilly points out. There was something real and appealing about all three youngsters that makes me want to read on.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    NOOOOO!!!!! I need the next book right now!!! I really, really, really liked this graphic novel! When is the next one?????? I NEED it!!! Great story, awesome pics...I want a big print of the dragon...it's gorgeous!!!!! (Okay, I'll admit it. I took a picture of the dragon page and set it as my phone's wallpaper. I couldn't help myself! LOL!!!)
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  • Kazia
    January 1, 1970
    I really, really enjoyed this one, but the lack of diversity is both unbearable and inexcusable, and (view spoiler)[I really needed Jack's sister's seemingly selective mutism to be better developed/explained. (hide spoiler)] But yay for a badass homeschooled girl, even if she is yet again a boy's sidekick.
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  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Great new series by one of my favorite graphic novelists. The characters all have great depth, the Jack in the Beanstalk tie-in is modern and believable, and there's a GREAT (grrr...) cliffhanger at the end of book one!
  • Karissa
    January 1, 1970
    This was another wonderful Hatke graphic novel. My 10 year old son and I both love the Zita the Spacegirl series and he was the one who actually brought this book to my attention. This was a wonderfully entertaining and fun read that I enjoyed a lot.This book deals with Jack and his sister Maddy. Their mom is desperately trying to make ends meet when Jack lends his mom’s car to a mysterious man selling amazing garden seeds. There are some cameos in here from a couple of the Zita the Spacegirl ch This was another wonderful Hatke graphic novel. My 10 year old son and I both love the Zita the Spacegirl series and he was the one who actually brought this book to my attention. This was a wonderfully entertaining and fun read that I enjoyed a lot.This book deals with Jack and his sister Maddy. Their mom is desperately trying to make ends meet when Jack lends his mom’s car to a mysterious man selling amazing garden seeds. There are some cameos in here from a couple of the Zita the Spacegirl characters as well which was neat. I absolutely loved the crazy creatures/plants that took root in Jack’s garden. The addition of a dragon made things even more fantastic. This whole book was action-packed and so much fun. It also touches on some nice family issues and issues with disabilities. The illustration is amazing, full of bright colors and easy to follow. I love Hatke’s illustration style.Overall both me and my 10 year old son absolutely loved this book. The illustration is wonderful and the story is action-packed and very creative. This is just such a fun read and is great for those who love graphic novel fantasy adventures. I would recommend to those who also enjoyed Zita the Spacegirl, Cleopatra in Space or Amulet.
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  • Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
    January 1, 1970
    Why I Recommend Moving This UP On Your TBR:◆ Extremely engaging◆ Pulls you in right from the start and keeps you reading until the end◆ Includes Autism rep (I recommend you check out an #ownvoices review to find out if it's handled well)◆ Contains realistic depiction of financial difficulties◆ The girl saves the boy and is written like a badass knight in training◆ There was a deeper meaning/lesson to the story◆ The fantasy elements were unique and entertaining!◆ I'm excited for the next volume!I Why I Recommend Moving This UP On Your TBR:◆ Extremely engaging◆ Pulls you in right from the start and keeps you reading until the end◆ Includes Autism rep (I recommend you check out an #ownvoices review to find out if it's handled well)◆ Contains realistic depiction of financial difficulties◆ The girl saves the boy and is written like a badass knight in training◆ There was a deeper meaning/lesson to the story◆ The fantasy elements were unique and entertaining!◆ I'm excited for the next volume!I do have to mention regardless of circumstances it's harmful to ask one of your children to watch the other if they're both not adults, but it's also a part of many families' realities and it was written in as a plot device here.
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  • C.J. Milbrandt
    January 1, 1970
    Jack trades the family car for some magic beans, and....Okay, not really. But there is a shifty salesman, a police report, a single mom, a mute sister, a homeschooled neighbor, and a boxful of alien seed packets. I hit page twenty and was flailing in fangirly ecstasy. Needless to say, this story is awesome!Note: Best to read the three Zita the Spacegirl books first.
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  • Liz Todd
    January 1, 1970
    I read a graphic novel! And I LOVED IT!! Usually this format is hard for me to follow, but I really enjoyed Jack and will look for the second book. Also helps that G snuggled up next to me and read at the same time. Fun book to share. Not sure why Ben Hatke had to include “crap” in his text... that’s the only thing...
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  • Jentry
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 and rounded up - I enjoyed this graphic novel so much and can't wait to read the next one. I'm excited to share it with my nieces and nephews too. :)
  • Kris Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    I’m utterly charmed by Ben Hatke
  • Connor
    January 1, 1970
    Mighty Jack is a graphic novel. Jack is the main character in this book and he definitely has some weird things going on in his life. Mighty Jack is a Maine student book award and is very fast read.
  • Mehsi
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as this one came in yesterday I went to reading it, I just had to, I have wanted the book since it got announced!And did I like it? Oh yes I did, though I absolutely despised the ending. I already had a niggling feeling that it would get a sequel (with how the story pans out, and how you see things escalated but the pages kept dwindling), but I just kept hoping I was wrong. :( But other than that I just adored the story. It is not only a story about a magical garden, about dragons, about As soon as this one came in yesterday I went to reading it, I just had to, I have wanted the book since it got announced!And did I like it? Oh yes I did, though I absolutely despised the ending. I already had a niggling feeling that it would get a sequel (with how the story pans out, and how you see things escalated but the pages kept dwindling), but I just kept hoping I was wrong. :( But other than that I just adored the story. It is not only a story about a magical garden, about dragons, about monsters, but it is also a story with a hint of sadness. Jack's mom working overtime just to be able to provide for her kids, Jack's sister Maddy not saying anything and acting way belong her age. I did love the contrast though, and with all this I can imagine why Jack might act the way he did in the book (he was at times a grumpy teenager). The garden was really interesting, though I wouldn't want one. No thank you. Not that I have a place for a garden (I live high up), but if I had one, I will just go for cute little flowers and not deadly monsters of doom. No thank you. :P Those big snails really are a big no-no.I am still curious as to why Jack was chosen to get the garden (or actually his sister Maddy was). I do hope we get some more answers in the next book. I also loved the cameos that happened in the book. :P Lily/Lilly, I am still not sure what to think of her. At times I really liked her, but at other times I just wanted to throw her for some deadly plant in the garden. I didn't like what she did (with the garden), and how she acted even when stuff really got dangerous. But I did like her sword-fighting, and how she helped Jack with Maddy. I also love her bravery.Jack was a great character, even with (as I said) his grumpiness. But he was also a terrific guy, a great brother. Always there for his sister, trying to help her out, trying to get her to eat, to talk. He doesn't give up. Maddy, I am still not sure about the character. Maybe if I had gotten more information on her, maybe if I knew what was going on with her, for now I was mostly annoyed with her baby-ish character and the fact she never talked.The art is of course fabulous. :) All in all, I would definitely recommend this one, though I do wish the second book will be out soon. :PReview first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com
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  • Scott Firestone
    January 1, 1970
    It's summer, and Jack has big plans. Unfortunately, whatever plans he had are put on hold as he's tasked with watching Maddy, his younger, autistic sister while his single mom works two jobs to keep them afloat. One day at the flea market, Jack sells his mom's car for a bunch of mysterious seeds. Why would he do that? Well his usually uncommunicative sister suddenly told him to do it. He's rightly astonished, and it makes him do this foolish thing. I won't spoil what happens, but know that they It's summer, and Jack has big plans. Unfortunately, whatever plans he had are put on hold as he's tasked with watching Maddy, his younger, autistic sister while his single mom works two jobs to keep them afloat. One day at the flea market, Jack sells his mom's car for a bunch of mysterious seeds. Why would he do that? Well his usually uncommunicative sister suddenly told him to do it. He's rightly astonished, and it makes him do this foolish thing. I won't spoil what happens, but know that they end up planting those beans, and they become a magical garden full of wonder and mystery and danger. Jack, his sister, and an enigmatic and headstrong neighbor named Lilly have to figure out what's happening, and grow a little along the way. The characters are great--real, vulnerable, truthful. And the artwork, while simple, is simply terrific. It's evocative, colorful, and never had me wondering what was happening. One of my favorite affectations of author Ben Hatke is that he uses words as visual descriptions on the frame. When Maddy grabs Jack he writes "Grab!" in big letters. When Lilly picks a fruit, he writes "Pick!" And another time we see "Shove" and know just what's happening. It's a simple and effective way to convey action. When this book ends, you'll be glad the next book is already out. I wager you'll want to find out what happened as much as I did. Mighty Jack is mighty good.
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  • Dolly
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book in the Mighty Jack series by Ben Hatke. We have really enjoyed his Zita the Spacegirl series and I was very excited to see that he has a new project.The story begins slowly as we learn about the interfamily dynamics in Jack's family and the financial difficulties they are facing. Interestingly, the flea market vendor who sells Jack and his sister Maddy the box of seeds appears to be Piper from the Zita tales. I wonder if we'll see him again...The colorful illustrations are This is the first book in the Mighty Jack series by Ben Hatke. We have really enjoyed his Zita the Spacegirl series and I was very excited to see that he has a new project.The story begins slowly as we learn about the interfamily dynamics in Jack's family and the financial difficulties they are facing. Interestingly, the flea market vendor who sells Jack and his sister Maddy the box of seeds appears to be Piper from the Zita tales. I wonder if we'll see him again...The colorful illustrations are very wild and wonderful and the alien plants/creatures are fascinating. The 'power smoothie' Lilly concocts from different plants in order to help her and Jack harness the plants' unique abilities is very ingenious. I love the interactions between Jack and Lilly, a neighbor who is home schooled, speaks Latin, plays armed assault shooter games, and has swords from her family's participation in Renaissance Faires. She is such an interesting, strong, intelligent, and complex female character. I also loved the subtle references in the book; for example, Jack is engrossed in reading Ender's Game at a bookseller's table at the flea market when he discovers that he's lost track of his sister. Also, I appreciated the mention of John Mosby, a colorful Civil War commander who is memorialized in and around the Viriginia countryside, which is likely familiar to Mr. Hatke since his bio states that he lives in the Shenandoah Valley. Overall, it's an entertaining and dramatic tale and we are looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King.interesting quote:"Sometimes, when we're looking after someone, the right choice isn't the one that makes them happy. At least not right away." (p. 139)
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  • Mathew
    January 1, 1970
    A quick read but packed full of great characters and discussion points. A modern take on the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, this Jack (set in our time States) is busy supporting his mother (who has two jobs and works herself to the bone) and his younger sister who has a special need of some sort which goes unexplained (appears to be an elected mute but there's more to it than this). Down on his luck, Jack exchanges the family car for a box full of magical beans and thus begins a great adventure of A quick read but packed full of great characters and discussion points. A modern take on the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, this Jack (set in our time States) is busy supporting his mother (who has two jobs and works herself to the bone) and his younger sister who has a special need of some sort which goes unexplained (appears to be an elected mute but there's more to it than this). Down on his luck, Jack exchanges the family car for a box full of magical beans and thus begins a great adventure of vicious plants, dragons and explorations to different worlds. There is little enough writing and enough gloriously colourful illustrations to grasp any reader and yet the depth of characterisation and the consistent ambiguousness around some of the characters means that there is plenty to talk about. It's the first in the series and one in which there is a genuine balance between strong female and male role. I really enjoyed it.
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  • Siina
    January 1, 1970
    I usually love Hatke's comics, since they are perfect for kids and let's face it, there's hardly any comics for younger readers. The best part is that Hatke's comics aren't long and there's not much speech in them, so even readers that have trouble with reading can work their way through his comics. Mighty Jack is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack's a teenager, whose Maddy sister is autistic and mother a poor single parent. At a flee market Jack gets seeds that will grown into a magic I usually love Hatke's comics, since they are perfect for kids and let's face it, there's hardly any comics for younger readers. The best part is that Hatke's comics aren't long and there's not much speech in them, so even readers that have trouble with reading can work their way through his comics. Mighty Jack is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack's a teenager, whose Maddy sister is autistic and mother a poor single parent. At a flee market Jack gets seeds that will grown into a magic garden with evil at its core, and Jack and the girl next door need to save Maddy from creatures not from this planet. So, a very nice adventure for both boys and girls. We hardly get to know the characters and thus I didn't feel anything for them - mostly I was actually annoyed especially with the girl next door. The plot works out nicely, although the beginning is quite slow compared to the ending and the sudden cliffhanger. A better pacing would've been wonderful, since now the comic is unbalanced.The art is very 1990s with the pastel colors. I'm not really a fan of the art, but it works as it's colorful and easy to approach. The panel structure and the flow are both great and the easiness of the comic is surely the best part. The view angles are awesome too and create this sense of movement, which is very Hatke-like. Mighty Jack isn't all that original, but it's fun and cute and there's never enough such comics. It's hard to say if this appeals to kids though, but either way Mighty Jack is a lovely comic and there's more to come it would seem.
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  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    This adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk is full of magic and suspense as modern Jack plants magic seeds with his younger sister Maddy and a new neighborhood friend. The garden that grows from these seeds is full of wondrous, ominous powers and creatures that threaten to destroy Jack’s home. Readers are left to ponder whether magical powers are good or evil, and what will become of Jack as he tries to protect his home and family. Definite cliffhanger ending may leave some readers dissatisfied a This adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk is full of magic and suspense as modern Jack plants magic seeds with his younger sister Maddy and a new neighborhood friend. The garden that grows from these seeds is full of wondrous, ominous powers and creatures that threaten to destroy Jack’s home. Readers are left to ponder whether magical powers are good or evil, and what will become of Jack as he tries to protect his home and family. Definite cliffhanger ending may leave some readers dissatisfied as they have to wait for the conclusion, but I'm guessing that this story will benefit from multiple re-readings.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    A fun and even more fantastical excursion into the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. This Jack will melt your heart with his striving to help little sister Maddy while maintaining just a sliver of normalcy in their little life. Creative and riveting in its own unique way Hatke brings the story of Jack and Maddy which will grip you and have you turning pages until you reach the end, a little forlorn, but more excited that a follow up will arrive (hopefully) soon.
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