By Laura Ennis, BK Story Voyager Librarian
By Ben Hatke
(for readers in grades 4–7)
Ben Hatke’s graphic novel is lively, vivid, and enticing. The story is a modern-day reimagining of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” In this telling, Jack is a bit put out that during his summer he has to care for his kid sister Maddy, while his mother works two jobs. He’d rather spend the summer sleeping. The story builds after Jack trades his mother’s car for magic beans at a flea market. The garden that results from planting these enchanted seeds opens the door to a wonderland of fantastic creatures. Plus Jack is affected by some supernatural side effects.
“Mighty Jack” is Ben Hatke’s second graphic novel series after “Legends of Zita, the Spacegirl.” As common with most graphic novels, many of the frames do not have words, and readers have to pay close attention to the illustrations in order to follow the story. The illustrations come to life, and readers feel as though they are on the journey with Jack as he learns about his mysterious garden.
“Mighty Jack” is recommended for readers in grades 4–7. My students love graphic novels, and I completely understand why any would love “Mighty Jack.” It weaves a story that you feel compelled to follow. Happily, the second “Mighty Jack” novel is coming out on September 5th, 2017!