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Cover image for Mighty Jack
Mighty Jack



First edition.
New York, NY : First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck, 2016-
Physical Description:
volumes : chiefly color illustrations ; 23 cm.
Series title(s):
Book One. Mighty Jack -- [volume 2]. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King.
Jack dreads summer because his single mother has to work and leaves him at home with his boring little sister who is autistic. She doesn't talk at all. Ever. But one day while they are at a flea market, she does talk. She tells Jack to trade their mother's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made!


Call Number
J GRAPHIC Hatke, B. bk.1
J GRAPHIC Hatke, B. bk.1
J GRAPHIC Hatke, B. bk.2

On Order



Jack might be the only kid in the world who's dreading summer. But he's got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It's a lot of responsibility, and it's boring, too, because Maddy doesn't talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk--to tell Jack to trade their mom's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made.

In Mighty Jack , what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything...a dragon.

Author Notes

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times- bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the picture books Julia's House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin , and the graphic novels Little Robot and Mighty Jack . He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-In this follow-up to Mighty Jack, the titular character and his friend Lilly travel through a portal in search of Jack's sister, Maddy, who has been kidnapped by an ogre. The duo are separated and must battle their own monsters, helped along the way by even more winsome and fantastical creatures than in the first volume. The strong character development gives this swashbuckling, imaginative tale an air of authenticity. With each page-turn, Jack and Lilly become more well rounded and complex, and the villains become ever more daunting. The artwork is bright but never garish. Panels are incredibly action-packed but have fairly simple backgrounds, moving the plot along deftly and keeping the focus on the protagonists. Charming, spot-on dialogue personalizes the various creatures. VERDICT An exciting conclusion to a modern-day take on "Jack and the Beanstalk," this title is even stronger than the previous book. Highly recommended for libraries where the first installment is popular.--Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Hatke's reworking of "Jack and the Beanstalk," Jack must care for his younger sister, Maddy, while his single mother holds down two jobs over the summer. Maddy doesn't speak, but she's entranced by the magic seeds she and Jack pick up from a shady dealer at a flea market, in exchange for their mother's car keys. Once they plant them, their home-schooled, sword-wielding neighbor Lilly is curious about their new garden, too-a little too curious. Hatke (Little Robot) revels in drawing the fantasy plants: green hands that reach out and grab, tiny onion-headed creatures, melons with teeth. Jack and Lilly argue about how to handle them: "These plants are dangerous!" he protests. "Open your eyes, Jack," Lilly retorts. "Just because something's dangerous doesn't make it evil." There's action and menace aplenty, including a dragon whose ferocity only Maddy can quell, and flashes of intimacy, too, as when Jack's mother's anger melts into compassion as she sees her son in tears, or when Maddy suddenly speaks. Jack's desperate efforts to juggle the needs of three complex female characters drive this sensitive retelling. The cliffhanger ending promises a sequel. Ages 10-14. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary. (Sept.)? © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

This sequel picks up right where Mighty Jack (rev. 9/16) left off--and what follows is all action. In pursuit of the ogre who kidnapped his sister Maddy, Jack and his sword-wielding neighbor Lilly pass through a vegetative wormhole into a bizarre fantasy world of floating castles, giant rats, and babbling goblins. Fortified by superpower-boosting smoothies and armed with magic beans, Jack and Lilly nevertheless find themselves separated after a sneak attack. Jack discovers that Maddys life is in grave danger. Lilly ends up in an arranged marriage to the oppressive Goblin King. Several furious, blood-splattered brawls ensue, shown in dynamic panel layouts that regularly burst into double-page spreads and with ever-present sound effects (CH-CHUNK! SPLORT! FOOM). Jacks bravado and macho rhetoric (Im going to catch up to that ogre, smash its head, and bring my sister home) is tempered by Lillys moving display of self-sacrifice and Maddys surprising show of swordsmanship. Numerous references to and cameos from Hatkes Zita the Spacegirl universe are peppered throughout the story, culminating in a call to arms from the space heroine herself and suggesting a future crossover adventure. patrick gall (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Jack and Lilly return in a new adventure in which they must navigate a fantastic and foreign land to save Jack's autistic sister, Maddy.The story dives in where Mighty Jack (2016) had left off on a breathless cliffhanger, which finds Jack and Lilly emerging through a strange, keyhole-shaped portal in order to save Maddy from a fierce monster. Rather like Alice down the rabbit hole, the kids find themselves in an unfamiliar world where they must climb a tenuous beanstalk and face vicious, biting rats, lovably bumbling goblins, and fearsome giants. Hatke's reimagined fairy tale is a masterpiece that blends all the familiar elements of "Jack and the Beanstalk" with a decidedly fresh eye in a visually arresting graphic format. His art, brilliantly colored by Campbell and Sycamore, is vividly kinetic, taking over with many wordless action scenes that fire off with rocketlike propulsion. Though Hatke's cast is predominantly white, he gives diversity a nod with an autistic main character and defies gender convention when another female character is crowned king. Though Jack is given sole titular credit, he and Lilly share the heroic spotlight in this installment, as she is every bit as mighty and important as he. Expect demand for the next installment to be through the roof; Hatke's brilliant final scene should elicit audible exclamations from fans of his work. Another outstanding adventure from a master storyteller. (Graphic fantasy. 7-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

At the end of Hatke's series starter, Mighty Jack (2016), Jack and Lily chased after the plant ogre that spirited Jack's sister, Maddy, away through a portal. The story picks up immediately afterward as Jack and Lily clamber into an utterly unknown place, where strange floating islands are connected by thick vines. Driven by the urge to rescue his sister at all costs, Jack brashly presses on, and when he and Lily get separated, he continues up the vine, while Lily finds herself among a gang of friendly goblins, though they have some ulterior motives. As he did in the first book, Hatke fills his full-bleed pages with hordes of fantastic monsters rendered in wild, organic shapes, and he further enlivens the story with snappy, comical dialogue. Well-wrought action scenes clearly depict the many battles, and swooping perspectives make the kid heroes look even more gallant. Fans of Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl series will be especially delighted by the cliff-hanger ending, which ensures many more adventures for the plucky, clever kids.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2017 Booklist