Sarah BT's Reviews > Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale
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's review
Jan 12, 10

About the Book: Jack has long been a trickster-he's just not had the best of luck. When a heist involving magic beans, a beanstalk, and giants goes wrong, Jack leaves town. After his adventures with Rapunzel (in Rapunzel's Revenge) Jack returns home to Shyport only to discover that the giant Blunderboar is in charge, the city is in ruins thanks to a infestation of ant people, and his mother is being held captive by Blunderboar and in charge of baking bones into bread. It's up to Jack and Rapunzel to save the day!

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'm often asked to give booktalks on great books for tweens and I always inlcude the Hale's first graphic novel outing, Rapunzel's Revenge. (and now Calamity Jack!) Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack are a librarian's dream come true! The Hale's combine witty dialogue, action and adventure, beautiful detailed artwork and lots of humor to create the perfect graphic novel. I would give this one to anyone who is not convinced in the value of graphic novels or anyone who's a newbie to graphic novels. (And of course old fans too!)

The fairy tale of Jack and Beanstalk is given the steampunk treatment in Calamity Jack and readers looking for a great adventure read will devour this one. There's even a cute bit of romance thrown in, so I think this one will have wide appeal. It is a sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, but readers don't necessarily have to read the first one to pick this one up. The book starts with Jack's past and gives us a little information on Jack and Rapunzel met, so I doubt readers will feel lost.

As I mentioned, the dialouge is very witty-there were a few lines I just had to read aloud to my husband because they were too great to keep to myself. The artwork is very detailed-young Jack is pictured with his tounge out while thinking and we get a glimpse that Jack hasn't lost this habit as an adult. It's this attention to detail that make the art stand out. The text and illustrations pair perfectly and work together, which makes this an excellent example of a graphic novel. I can't wait to see the final full color, since the ARC came in black and white. (And be sure to check out the inside cover page for a peek at our author's and illustrator snuck into the artwork.)

This a book to share, to pass around to friends, and re-read because each time you'll see something new. I'm hoping we can look forward to more graphic novel's from this creative team-I'd love to see their take on other fairy tales.


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