Book review: Mighty Jack, by Ben Hatke

Hatke, Ben. Mighty Jack. (Mighty Jack series, #1) First Second, 2016. $14.99. 205p. ISBN 978-1-62672-264-4. Ages 8-12. P8Q8

hatke-mighty-jackUsing the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, Hatke (Zita the Space Girl and Little Robot) starts another graphic novel series, this one about a single parent family. Jack is responsible for the care of his largely mute autistic younger sister, Maddy, while their mother works. The adventures begin when the sister offers the family car for a box of mysterious beans that, unbeknownst to the mother, grow into dangerous creatures. Lily, a neighbor who loves medieval weapons, enters the fray and teaches Jack to take chances, and the two of them head off on a mission at the end of the book.

Verdict: The characterizations of the family trying to survive financial difficulties are realistic, and the action is fast-paced with minimal text. The author does a great job creating complex female characters, and the illustrations of the plants are marvelous.

January 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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