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Jack's Black Book (Jack Henry #3)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  160 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
An uproarious companion to" Heads or Tails" and" Jack's New Power"
According to his new motto - A WRITER'S JOB IS TO TURN HIS WORST EXPERIENCES INTO MONEY - Jack Henry is going to be filty rich even before he gets out of junior high, for his life is filled with the worst experiences imaginable. In the course of the few months covered in this cycle of interlinked stories, J
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 30th 1997 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 1997)
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Mar 27, 2015 Adrienne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jack is bleak and his world is bleak. His anxieties, failures, and bad luck do little to shape him into a more capable person, and his blind unwillingness to change makes the story clunky and relentless. I felt grim throughout. The book is full of moments where adults say baffling and terrifying things: "He's started seeing a therapist. He doesn't hurt people anymore," quietly says the parent of the animal-torturing neighbor boy. The disturbing world Jack inhabits is unremitting, which, I confes ...more
Jack wants to be a writer. He wants his professional tools to be typewriters and paper. Instead, the results of his IQ test tell him his tools should be shovels, because he's on the low end of average and not destined for greatness. His plans for launching his career don't work out the way he wants them to, and his plans to abort his woodworking career go similarly awry. But writers turn their bad experiences into good writing, and Jack's getting plenty of those bad experiences.

Funny, but less e
Danny Araujo
Dec 09, 2009 Danny Araujo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack's Black Book is about a twelve year old boy, Jack, that's life caught up to him and now he is stuck in what people, and test say about him. He lives in the suburbs near a beach. He goes to a very bad school that used to been a juvenile jail. He really hated the place so Jack took an IQ test to see if he is smart enough to transfer to another school. He was just below average so they had to keep him there, but the bad score bothered Jack and it haunted him for the rest of a book. One externa ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Tamara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If I were a boy, maybe I would appreciate this a little more, but to me this read like an adolescent diary for a budding serial killer.

The kid flunks seventh grade, forces his little brother to pretend he is blind to make money, crushes his dead dog with a hammer in order to get him in his coffin, and puts lit matches out in a can of gasoline for fun.

Is this where the saying "boys will be boys" comes from? If so, I am glad to be a girl!

Favorite Quote:

I had this idea once of getting the world'
Jul 09, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
What happens when you are given evidence in 7th grade that clearly identifies you as "average"? Jack doesn't want to be "average": he wants to be a writer! His black book is where he is preserving his experiences, especially those tragic experiences which will make him a great writer. This is how one boy copes with failure, love, money, and death--not necessarily in that order. Jack Gantos has created a sort of "everyboy" in Jack Henry. Jack Henry has several dates with destiny in this book, and ...more
This is a new author for me and I really liked reading about Jack. There are actually 3 stories in this book. Jack's failing IQ test (he's average) starts a series of events that affects Jack's life and his dream to be a writer. Jack visit's a fortune teller. She tells him an up-side down leg will be his humiliating down fall. Jack is looking for something humiliating to write about. While Jack's at the beach one day he comes across some synchronized swimmers. And of course they are upside down ...more
Brianna Fay
Jul 08, 2015 Brianna Fay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extremely alarming novel that I will never forget. I would not have read it if I didn't have to, but I'm glad I did. Strange, but well worth the read.
Mar 07, 2013 Ms.Smoker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack Gantos is a brilliant young adult writer. He knows just what kids will relate to and enjoy reading about. All of his Jack books have thoroughly entertained my seventh grade students as read-alouds for five years now.

This book happens to be the last one in the series. It tells hilarious tales of Jack's eighth grade year with absolutely great voice. Whether he's haggling at a garage sale for typewriter or promoting his brother's blind-act as a means of making money, Jack is good for many laug
This is based very much on events that happened to Jack Gantos as a child. Jack, the main character, is in seventh grade while narrating the story. His family thinks he is stupid (and so do all his teachers) and they ffrequently tell him so. He takes an IQ test and scores around 80 and is told he should get ready to do manual labor for the rest of his life. He accidentally "kills" his dog and then proceeds to build it a coffin. Much of the story focuses on how his family treats him and his "stup ...more
Nov 05, 2013 Jaret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a humorous book in the style of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." This series, is a bit more crude than Wimpy Kid, but still funny. Jack gets himself into a lot of situations that the average middle schooler can relate to even though Jack gets dragged in a bit too far for reality. The feelings are very real even though the situations are blown out of proportion. I think that disproportion would appeal to a young adult and they would give it a much higher rating than I did.
Oct 19, 2010 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book more humorous than anything. I loved this book and I bet you would too. Its about a kid who failed an IQ test. In the book he gets made fun of by his family but he keeps on trying to write. its a little sad because his dog died.
Sep 18, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because of the humor and the fact that the main character is afraid that his older sister will strap a 3 sided cage to his face, fill it with starving rats that will slowly eat his way in to his brain...................
Anastacia Elizondo
I remember my fifth grade teacher reading this to our class during story time. It had me and my clasmates in tears we were all laughing so hard! An amazingly hilarious story.
Jul 02, 2014 Annette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-fiction
22 pages out of 165. Tried it. Got bored. It didn't catch me AT ALL! Gave up. Ugh.
Jan 10, 2011 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a alright book it was not what I expected well that is all I think of it
Jun 19, 2013 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laugh out loud! How did I miss this fun book for so many years?
Jan 10, 2011 DODGERDAWG11 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i think this book was kind of weird,,,,,,,,, i didnt understand it...
~*ashlyn*~ ~*rojas*~
it is the most boring and very stupid book! i dont recommend it!
Jan 18, 2008 Abraham marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i cant wait to read this book. really looks interesting.
Mark Kaplan
Jan 10, 2011 Mark Kaplan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gross, funny. A must read. Gantos is a great writer!
Sep 16, 2008 Sydvic95 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ALEXIS
Recommended to Sydvic95 by: THE LIBRARIAN
Jan 10, 2011 Jackblack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jan 10, 2011 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad
Hugo Aquino
Jan 10, 2011 Hugo Aquino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lam marked it as to-read
May 07, 2016
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Jack Gantos is an American author of children's books renowned for his portrayal of fictional Joey Pigza, a boy with ADHD, and many other well known characters such as Rotten Ralph, Jack Henry, Jack Gantos (memoirs) and others. Gantos has won a number of awards, including the Newbery, the Newbery Honor, the Scott O'Dell Award, the Printz Honor, and the Sibert Honor from the American Library Associ ...more
More about Jack Gantos...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Henry (5 books)
  • Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade (Jack Henry, #1)
  • Jack's New Power: Stories from a Caribbean Year (Jack Henry, #2)
  • Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade (Jack Henry, #4)
  • Jack Adrift: Fourth Grade Without a Clue (Jack Henry, #5)

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