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Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade
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Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade (Jack Henry #1)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  27 reviews
From the Newbery Medal–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt, eight more hysterical semi-autobiographical Jack Henry stories about a sixth grader’s trials and tribulations

Jack’s life is a crazy roller-coaster ride. At his fifth school in six years, he has a crackpot teacher who won’t give him a break about his lousy handwriting and a secret crush who wants to be a policewo...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1994)
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Tul Kasetrsuwan
I think this book was one of the greatest comedy book I've ever read. There was so much fun all packed right into this book. The author of this story is Jack Gantos, the main character in the book. This book's a chapter book and nothing in one chapter is related to another. It's just like someone telling you stories.
Jack had a sister named Betsy and a little brother named Pete. Jack REALLY liked to copy everything his sister did. Once, Jack's mother bought Betsy a diary and he, all of a sudde...more
I admit that I am a Jack Gantos fan, and so is my nearly 8 year old grandson. He owns this book, and it is a signed copy! I selected it a couple of weeks ago as our read aloud over breakfast, thinking we could easily do a chapter a day, but it took a bit longer than I had expected. There is the expected humor, and the problems that occur for the main character, Jack.

Jack has been in five schools in six years, and his family rents a house in Fort Lauderdale, next to the Pagoda family (who are a...more
Sometimes it seems as if Jack Gantos has an unending well of story ideas from his days as a kid. He takes actual experiences from the first twelve years or so of his life and mixes in just enough fiction to make for stories that are hilarious to readers of any age and reading level. Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the 2012 John Newbery Medal, may be his most famous example of this, but Jack Gantos had started with that form of storytelling long before his Newbery Medal winner was ever published....more
The stories in this collection are darker than the wacky cover would lead you to believe. Yes, these are funny stories about growing up, but many of them are tinged with the sad realization that life isn't exactly what you hoped it would be.
I got these over the summer since my son was moving from 5th to 6th grade. I thought he would read them on his own, but he never did, so we picked up Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade for bedtime reading after finishing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and then followed it with this one. As in Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade. There is a lot of humor in the book, some gross-out moments (perfect for many boys of this age), and some deeper wisdom thrown in there. Not...more
Linda Lipko
Jack lives a heads or tails life when one flip of the coin can change his life for good or bad. While the coin consistently flips on the loosing side, he finds adventure and drama at each turn.

With a father who cannot seem to find the right job, nor can he keep it, living in six rental homes in five years keeps him hoping and navigating different rules and different schools.

A sister who is bratty and cruel, a little brother who is insistent of wanting Jack's attention, and a mother who does the...more
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Bethany Erickson
Heads or Tails by Jack Gantos is a collection of stories told from the viewpoint of Jack Henry, a sixth grader living in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Gantos took ideas from his own childhood journal to create Jack Henry’s world. Jack’s family is not well-off; in fact, they’ve moved nine times in his short life, renting every home he’s stayed in. His father has changed jobs more times than that. Jack has an older sister in 8th grade, Betsy, and a younger brother, Pete, in first. Betsy wants nothing to do...more
Sandy Kanjanakuha
I recently read a book call Heads or Tails by Jack Gantos. I think it was a very good book for kids at about 11 or 12 to read. This story is about a boy name Jack, which is the author himself. It tells about many events that happened during his 6th grade year. One of my favorite event that happen in this book is the event of the copy cat. He had a sister, her name is Betsy. Whatever she did he did, whatever she owned he needed to have one. One day his sister got a diary from their mother. Jack s...more
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Very amusing for tweeners. Not so much for old farts like me. I enjoyed it like I would a Reader's Digest article--cute, but shallow. It's not exactly something I'll seek out and read more of. It wasn't as clever as Danny Dunn nor as historically amusing as The Great Brain. And definitely not as flat-out-funny as Pat McManus's childhood tales. But it was amusing.

Definitely recommended for pre-teen boys....more
Halle Caban
This boom by jack Fantis is amazing! This book was written on 1994, but seems like it's been write in 2013. I enjoyed his book very much. Te book is about the kids story's my favorite was when they went to cocoa beach and are about to mor there,but using want to spoil it. There are about 7 or 6 stories in he book. I enjoyed and you might too.
I wanted to love it. (I find myself saying that often.) Sixth grade is an up-and-down year, and we can always use more funny and honest stories about it. This was definitely both those things. But although I think episodic structure can work, it didn't really this time, possibly because many of the chapters introduced new characters and didn't give me time to care about them. The MC has the same first name as the author, which makes me think this is largely autobiographical; including autobiogra...more
I enjoyed the book, and especially related to his story of riding his bike behind the mosquito fogger. How many other people my age must have done that as a kid? Dave did too, and now I'm wondering if everyone did. Where were our parents?? How could they not know that was unhealthy?

It was a great book for showing how kids deal with things that happen and how they view family life ex. having to watch out for the younger brother.

I recently saw Jack Gantos speak at the reading conference, so I tr...more
This book is part of a series of semi-autobiographical stories from author Jack Gantos. You know, most people need to embellish stories from their lives to make them more interesting; you get the feeling that Gantos needs to tone his stories down because he manages to get into so much trouble! I really loved these stories of a kid with an imperfect but loving family; you'll root for him the whole time.
Lots of humor and realistic scenarios from Jack Gantos, the king of misadventures. This book contains several short stories about Jack's experiences during his sixth grade year. Some are laugh-out-loud funny, others seem odd additions. The ending is abrupt-- no warning, just over. I was hoping there would be a more sophisticated ending that would link all the stories together cohesively.
It was an amzaming book. You never knew what was going to happen next in the book. There was alot of times when I wanted to cry but also times when I wanted to laugh to I cried. It is a good book.It is based on the author life. It teaches you what not to do if you don't want to get in troble.
Head of tails is a great book. Jack Gantos is an interesting writer that is able to take little memoryes of his life to make it into a series of books. A book I would recommend to all.
review from 1996:
"Heads or Tails tells the story of a 12 year old boy and his frequent moves, battles with his sister, and his troubles with neighbors, chores, and life. Very amusing!"
This is about Jack entering the 6th grade. Students would be able to relate to this book, and would be a good read to use at the beginning of a school year if teaching 6th grade.
My son loved this book. He thought it was very funny. It was entertaining, but did not hold my interest as much as many of the other children's books out there.
I didn't like this book because it has no story-line. what you think is the story line ends up being the end of the book.
I really like how Jack Gantos's stories are based on his real life experiences.
Andd Becker
Eight stories form the content of a boy's diary.
David Arranaga
☺ This book was very good.☺
Frances Janowiak
Frances Janowiak marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Susan marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2014
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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. Gantos has won a number of awards, including the Newbery Honor, the Printz Honor, and the Sibert Honor from the American Library Association, and he has been a finalist for the National Book Award. His newest book, The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs (2006), deals with twins, euge...more
More about Jack Gantos...
Dead End in Norvelt Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1) Hole in My Life Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza, #2) From Norvelt to Nowhere

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