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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: Jack, The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff

Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk
by Liesl Shurtliff
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Jack has always been told that giants are not real. But if that’s the case, how do you explain the huge, foot shaped pond in the yard, or the occurrence of strange and sudden storms in which the earth quakes and dirt rains from the sky? When his father is carried away in such a storm, Jack gives chase in the only logical way: by trading the family cow for some magic beans that will give him access to a land beyond the clouds. He arrives to find that the giants themselves have giant-sized troubles. With the help of an overachieving little sister, a magic goose and a chatty cook (who is not interested in grinding human bones into bread, thank you very much!) Jack sets out to save his dad and save the day.


Giants are not least that’s what naughty boy, Jack, has always been told. But Jack isn’t so sure. What about the stories of his great-great-many-greats grandfather who was a famous giant slayer? And what about the giant shaped pond or the strange noises and storms? No, Jack is convinced giants are real, and when his father is taken during a giant raid, Jack sets out on a journey beyond the clouds. He is determined to save his father, but discovers that the world of giants isn’t quite what he was led to believe.

Liesl Shurtliff returns to the world of whimsical middle-grade retellings with the wonderful Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Once again, Shurtliff uses her sparkling, pitch-perfect writing; fun humor; and clever imagination to weave an exciting and charming tale. Jack’s adventures are full of thrilling peril, fantastical experiences, and amusing characters. Young readers will be captivated by the surprising world of giants and its intriguing inhabitants. From feisty pixies, magical seeds, hitching rides on mice and cats, and a gold-greedy giant king, the giant world is never dull and provides readers with endless amusements.

Jack is a plucky, resourceful, and instantly likable fella. Readers will admire his courage, laugh at his sometimes naughty behavior, and eagerly root for him. From Jack’s clever, brave little sister to his endearing new friend Tom; a tender-hearted giant cook; and others, Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk is chock full of fantastic characters.

A daring escape, an unlikely alliance, and a whole lot of crazy-fun adventure, the end of Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk will make readers cheer.

my final thoughts: Full of whimsy, humor, adventure, and lovable characters, Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk is giant fun!

4/5 yummy cupcakes

Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love having an unusual name—and today she wouldn’t change it for the world!

Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children, where she still dreams of the mountains. Rump is her first novel.

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