Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Review: Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk

JACK by Liesel Shurtliff is an imaginative retelling of the classic story Jack and the Beanstalk.
Like Rump, the first book in “the true story” collection, this fast-paced adventure brings the beloved tale alive for a modern audience. Set in the same fairy tale world as Rump, JACK tells the story of a farm boy whose father disappears into the world of giants. Jack must figure out a way to save his father as well as his kingdom.
This middle-grade fantasy is brimming with memorable dialogue and interesting characters. Shurtliff’s engaging writing style fills the pages with interesting vocabulary without overwhelming reluctant readers. Although the book lacks illustrations, youth will be drawn to the colorful book cover.
Both Rump and JACK will be popular in school library collections. Boys and girls alike will enjoy the extended versions of the classic tales. These books would work well in a literature circle environment featuring fairy tale retellings.
Librarians will have endless fun with Shurliff’s fairy tales. Pair them with the classic versions of these tales found in picture books. Involve youth in writing their own adapted versions of fairy tales. Be sure to include the many other fractured fairy tale books in the library for additional fun. Look for Shurliff’s Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood in Spring 2016.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by Alfred A. Knopf and Random House Kids on April 14, 2015.