Happy Monday Friends-
The Queen here with a mid-level fantasy novel you are sure to find fascinating. I did. The story left me guessing all the way to the end about who Jack really was and where he came from. Action and the mystery behind the True Story kept me turning the pages. I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Publisher and date: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 2, 2011)
Reading level: Grades 4 and up
Book Info: 336 pages
Genre: Fantasy fiction
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Jack is practically invisible at home, but when his parents send him to Hazelwood, Iowa, to spend a summer with his odd aunt and uncle, he suddenly makes friends, is beaten up by the town bully, and is plotted against by the richest man in town. (from book flap)
Book Theme: magic, interpersonal relations, friendship, family life, Iowa,
Truth isn’t always what it seems to be.
This story is also about sacrifice and friendships, about when things get broken and how sacrificial love (the kind where we forget about what’s in it for us) can make things whole again.
Writing or Discussion Prompts
*Have you ever felt invisible?
*Jack had to stand between the good and evil parts of his real mother in hopes of pulling them back together. Discuss what it might mean for someone to stand in the gap between good and evil.
Kelly Barnhill writes fiction and nonfiction. She was a reading teachger with the Minneapolis Public Schools and later taught reading at a center for homeless youth. She also teaches writing through the Writers and Artist in the Schools Program. A mother of three “insanely brilliant children (evil geniuses –genii? – all of them, hell-bent on one day ruling the world)”
Favorite Quote: “I believe in stories. I trust in stories. Storytelling is hardwired into our brains: it dictates how we think, how we understand the world, and how we make the world new again.”
Check out these interviews with Kelly Barnhill:
Little, Brown, August, 2012