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Mighty Jack

(Mighty Jack #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  6,988 ratings  ·  713 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by First Second
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▫️Ron S It isn't - in that there is no beanstalk, but it does build on a long tradition of "Jack" stories, that tend to go along the lines of giant fighting. …moreIt isn't - in that there is no beanstalk, but it does build on a long tradition of "Jack" stories, that tend to go along the lines of giant fighting. The heart of the garden is this book's "giant".(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  6,988 ratings  ·  713 reviews

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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
Dave Schaafsma
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
First Second Books
Sep 06, 2016 marked it as first-second-publications
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.
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
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jillian Heise
This was SOOO good! Adventure, family, relationships, magic,'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!! ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very well put together. This story draws on elements of magic, reality, and bravery...a perfect combination for a plot! Jack and his girlfriend Lilly are doing their best to protect their home from forces they can barely understand, much less control. A very very nice graphic novel!
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
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Austin Poulin
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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'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!!!) ...more
Mary Lee
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
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
Scott Firestone
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

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
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!

Liz Todd
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
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...
C.J. Milbrandt
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.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: gn-comics
I really, really enjoyed this one, but the lack of diversity is both unbearable and inexcusable, and (view spoiler) But yay for a badass homeschooled girl, even if she is yet again a boy's sidekick. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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. :) ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is very good. A retelling of Jack and the beanstalk, but with a modern twist. I could not recommend this book more for kids 10 and up.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Kris Patrick
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m utterly charmed by Ben Hatke
Asher Mann
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was a good book but not beder than the second one. It was kinda more like this ( they were at the same place the hole time). It was also good at some parts I really liked when they fot the plants. And when they planted the magic seeds. The book is really good. Especially when the plants come into the book. It is a really important part of the book. and the end is a twister when Maddy gets taken.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ben Hatke
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Mary Ann
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 ...more
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Ben Hatke is an author and illustrator of graphic novels and picture books. Most notably he is the creator of the Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel series.

He posts art and stories online at:

Other books in the series

Mighty Jack (3 books)
  • Mighty Jack and the Goblin King (Mighty Jack, #2)
  • Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl

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