‘Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk’ by Liesl Shurtliff

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Rating: 5 stars

“JACK: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk” by Liesl Shurtliff is every bit as brilliant and well written as her first book in the series, “RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin.”

It’s about Jack, of course, who has been hearing for his whole life stories about how his “seven times great grandfather” killed the giant. But nothing prepares him for when the giants descend through the sky to pick their village clean. Literally. They take whole houses with the people inside them. And when they take Jack’s father, he decides it’s time for him to fulfill his legacy and rescue his father.

Shurtliff manages to cleverly include several other fairy tales and nursery rhymes. The cobbler and the elves? Check. The woman who lived in a shoe with her many children? Check. She also twists the much-told Jack story, and readers will love to find out about who says “Fee fie fo fum.” Oh, and Jack’s younger sister, Annabella? She is pretty capable, too. In fact, she saves Jack’s bacon more than once.

The details are fabulous, the characters winning, and the story engrossing. It’s fun, and readers who loved “RUMP” (and even readers who didn’t) will enjoy this ride into giant-land. Perfect for middle grade readers or for anyone who enjoys fractured fairy tales.

Boys will love the adventure. Girls will love the adventure and the magic. It’s great fun.

Please note: This review is based on the advance reader’s copy provided by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers for review purposes.