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Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas by Cary Fagan

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas

by Cary Fagan, Dusan Petricic (Illustrator)

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Jacob Two-Two, of course, is the beloved character created by Mordecai Richler in his three books about the boy who says everything two times. He based Jacob on his own son who’s now grown up. Mordecai Richler was going to write a fourth book but unfortunately he became ill and never got to write it before he passed away. A few years later his family along with his publisher asked me to write a new Jacob Two-Two book.

For me, it was very important to be true to the original books. First of all, that meant it had to be funny! But at the same time I knew that I had to bring in my own particular talents if it was going to be any good. I had to feel it was my story too. The first thing I did was decide when it took place. I decided to set it between the first two original books and show how the family returned from England to Canada. My story, I decided, would take place on the ship crossing the ocean. And since I wanted some bad guys, how could I resist having some pirates too? I wanted a couple of new characters to liven things up as well, not to mention a talking parrot. In the end, I had a lot of fun writing “Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas” and I’ve been so happy to hear that people think it’s a good addition to the series.
  terriorl | Nov 14, 2011 |
Entertaining book about a young boy named Jacob Two-Two (he's two plus two plus two) who has a big adventure on board a ship while moving from England to Canada. Pirates capture the ship and take him and his friend Cynthia aboard. Everyone is quite hapless and the children easily outsmart the pirates. ( )
  ChristianR | Oct 8, 2009 |
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Fagan has appropriated Richler’s style with almost bang-on precision. The best part of the Jacob Two-Two novels has always been Richler’s shaggy-dog, ramshackle approach, akin to that of a tired yet devoted parent telling a story to a wide-awake child. Richler brought a feeling of drunken glee to his tales, a sense that he really was making it up as you read it, mixing the silly and childish with some very real childhood fears.

Like Richler, Fagan brings a light touch to otherwise frightening issues like abandonment, untrustworthy authority figures, and the universal fear of being falsely accused. Adults will appreciate the effort to bring some deeper resonance to the proceedings, even if children will get a far bigger kick from characters with loopy names such as Percy Swishbottom and from a parrot prone to utterances such as “I’m in love with a vacuum cleaner!” Fagan never lets the story become too frightening, which does make one yearn for the darker shadings Richler gave the original Hooded Fang. Marginally scary yet easily vanquished adult foes are a mainstay of the series, but none of the followups have had the edge of the first, with its Dickensian child workhouse and surreal plot structure.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cary Faganprimary authorall editionscalculated
Petricic, DusanIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887768954, Hardcover)

He’s back! The late Mordecai Richler had planned more adventures for his small hero and now, with the full support of the Richler family, award-winning author Cary Fagan carries on the tradition in a hilarious story for a whole new generation of Jacob fans.

After Jacob Two-Two’s father writes a very important novel, the family makes plans to move to Canada.

They board the SS Spring-a-Leak for a journey across the ocean. Jacob Two-Two makes some new acquaintances — the unbelievably handsome Captain Sparkletooth, the acrobatic Bubov Brothers, the failed toy inventor Mr. Peabody, and the giant but gentle Morgenbesser. Most important, he makes friends with young Cindy Snootcastle, who keeps a secret treasure in her pocket.

But something is wrong on the SS Spring-a-Leak. A series of clues — a black eye patch; a parrot who squawks “Apple sauce in your underpants!”; and a sailing ship flying the Jolly Roger — can only mean trouble. Will the intrepid Shapiro and the fearless O’Toole really be left on a desert island? Will Jacob Two-Two be made to walk the plank?

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas is a treat for those who know Jacob and for those who are about to meet one of the most endearing characters in children’s literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:13 -0400)

Fagan resurrects the late Mordecai Richler's most famous character for a new adventure released to accompany freshly illustrated editions of the three original episodes.

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