Observations: I like how this story depicts the idea of Jack and his family being poor in a modern setting rather than a fairytale one. His mother is working two jobs, and Jack is tasked with caring for a sister with challenges. He buys the magic seeds at a flea market. It's a very creative and intriguing reinvention of a familiar story. I like that there's a homeschooled friend, too—at heart these are all characters whose stories aren't shown as often, placed into the context of a story we all know. I sort of wish there wasn't such an abrupt ending to Book 1, though--as mentioned above, readers are kind of left hanging. That always vexes me a little when I don't have the sequel immediately at hand.
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Conclusion: I honestly think you could hand this to any kid, especially fairy-tale fans--the balance of humor, fantasy, and adventure is perfect, and it isn't too scary for younger readers.
I received my copy of this book courtesy of the publisher. You can find MIGHTY JACK by Ben Hatke at an online e-tailer, or at a real life, independent bookstore near you!