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Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

Mighty Jack

by Ben Hatke

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The Mighty Jack series by Ben Hatke are absolutely wonderful middle grade comic style reads. As the first book, it introduces Jack & his family & a special friend he meets from down the street. It also shows us the dangerous garden jack & his sister plant with the seeds they traded their car for.😬 There is little dialogue but a picture is worth a thousand words. The illustrations in this book are very descriptive & help progress the storyline without a problem. ( )
  ceciliagarciaa | Aug 11, 2017 |
This was another wonderful Hatke graphic novel. My 10 year old son and I both love the Zita the Spacegirl series and he was the one who actually brought this book to my attention. This was a wonderfully entertaining and fun read that I enjoyed a lot.

This book deals with Jack and his sister Maddy. Their mom is desperately trying to make ends meet when Jack lends his mom’s car to a mysterious man selling amazing garden seeds. There are some cameos in here from a couple of the Zita the Spacegirl characters as well which was neat.

I absolutely loved the crazy creatures/plants that took root in Jack’s garden. The addition of a dragon made things even more fantastic. This whole book was action-packed and so much fun. It also touches on some nice family issues and issues with disabilities.

The illustration is amazing, full of bright colors and easy to follow. I love Hatke’s illustration style.

Overall both me and my 10 year old son absolutely loved this book. The illustration is wonderful and the story is action-packed and very creative. This is just such a fun read and is great for those who love graphic novel fantasy adventures. I would recommend to those who also enjoyed Zita the Spacegirl, Cleopatra in Space or Amulet. ( )
  krau0098 | Apr 5, 2017 |
I don't know where this is going "everything is dangerous, living is dangerous" "it's evil, it's magic and you killed it" "just because something is dangerous, doesn't mean it's evil". I'm suspend judgment for book 2; whether I like this reasoning. ( )
  cay250 | Mar 24, 2017 |
Mighty Jack is another winner by Hatke, a powerful opening chapter of what promises to be a popular series with much to recommend it.

The art is very strong with a cinematic feel that will appeal to fans of manga and individual panels often contain small nuances & details that will especially please the careful reader. The color palette is lovely, a careful balance between a broad color spectrum and a subdued tone that complements the adventurous plot. That subdued tone will also make this title a good match for kids with sensory sensativities around bright colors.

The story is well-paced and will appeal to a broad range of readers, from older elemnetary youth all the way through adult. The main character is a young teen boy, just on the cusp of having romantic interests, who has had to take on a lot of responsibility at a young age to support his single mother and his younger sister who is on the non-verbal end of the autism spectrum. Note: The text never actually mentions Maddy's diagnosis, but the publisher's blurb specifies that she is autistic. The author does a wonderful job of capturing the tension of Jack's place in the world, the ways in which he is both proud and resentful of the responsibility placed upon him.

Further, the book will be a great match for educational applications. It deals in a nuanced manner with complex themes, developing them over the course of the story, and exploring issues like responsibility, the nature of good and evil, and the tension between the thrilling adventure and unnecessary risk-taking. Multiple aspects of the Language Arts Common Core Standards could be matched up successfully with this title.

Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke belongs in every middle school, high school, & public library. ( )
  TeenCentral | Mar 4, 2017 |
I don't know why it took me a while to read this - Hatke is the kind of graphic novelist I love. He creates the fantasy/adventure stories the kids love but with rounded, diverse characters, especially girls.

Jack and his family are going through some tough times. He wants to help his mom, who is exhausted and stressed from working multiple jobs, but all she wants him to do is watch his autistic sister, Maddy, who never talks. When Jack gets into trouble at the county fair, selling the family car for a chest of magic seeds, it seems like the family is at their lowest point ever. But then Maddy plants some seeds and magic happens. The two are joined by homeschooled Lilly, who's lonely now that her brothers are gone and has a lot of useful skills (and weapons). The magical garden seems like the best thing that's ever happened. Jack finally has a friend, Maddy is more involved and happy than ever before, and they can do magical things with the plants and seeds. But maybe the garden isn't the perfect world it seems - and Jack has to make some difficult decisions with serious consequences.

Hatke's art is fresh and cinematic, balancing the excitement, danger, and adventure of the strange creatures and the garden with the character development of three complex personalities. It's a mark of his genius that he keeps this fairytale spin-off from being just another male-dominated fantasy adventure. While Jack is the central character, both Lilly and Maddy are strong characters in their own right and the three share equal time and equally complex emotions and feelings. Maddy, despite her silence, is no less a character than the other two and readers will feel both Jack's frustration at trying to read her moods and Maddy's frustration at trying to communicate in her own way. Lilly at first seems like the predictable tomboyish girl, but quickly grows into a character in her own right, anxious to experience the world and with emotions and struggles no less real than Jack's.

Verdict: This is a complex and powerful story with enough fantasy and adventure to capture the most reluctant reader. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781626722651; Published 2016 by First Second; Borrowed from another library in my consortium
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 3, 2016 |
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