GN Inspection: Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale
Release Date: Jan. 2010 
Publisher:Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 144 
Source: KidzBookBlog

Welcome back to the Old Wild West with a twist of fairy tale magic. Calamity Jack picks up where the Hales left us after Rapunzel’s Revenge, but this time the story belongs to Jack. After running away after the whole beanstalk incident, Jack’s decided to return home with Rapunzel (and her trusty braids). Hoping to right previous mistakes, he never imagined he’d come back to find his beloved city taken over by evil giants. Unable to run anymore, Jack must find a way to out-smart the giants and return the city to the people who live there. With a little help from Rapunzel, a pixie, and guy with odd inventions, he may just be able to turn himself from a criminal mastermind to a beloved hero.

The Short of It: Two big thumbs up. Calamity Jack is easily added onto my list of favorite graphic novels. I’m thrilled to be able to continue to rave about the greatness of this series.

Story: I was so excited to get the opportunity to be on this tour, but I was a little afraid it wouldn’t live up to Rapunzel’s Revenge greatness. I realize now how foolish it was to doubt and can say safely that it was good as I hoped for. The Hales successful deliver another unique story that’s full of fun and adventure. I adore how they can take a beloved fairy tale/story and twist it into something new. While I felt like this was the Jack I had known and loved, the Hales managed to breath new life into the character. I don’t know if I ever felt Jack so fleshed out before. And really, the only thing I have left to say is I certainly hope this is not the last we see of Jack and Rapunzel. I’m quite anxious to see what other adventures their future may hold.

Illustrations: Again Nathan Hale manages to bring this world alive with beautiful pictures. Admittedly, it’s been about a year since I’ve read Rapunzel’s Revenge, but I don’t remember the level of detail that was included in Calamity Jack. I’ve found myself going back through several times just to look at the illustrations. (And I suppose I should mention that I’m the type who usually ignores illustrations because I struggle with paying attention to both). I simply cannot wait for the finished copy to come into the library so I can look through it again with full-color(the arc only had B&W illustrations). I have a feeling that the color is going to take the illustrations to a whole new level and I’m excited to see if my intuition is right.

Librarian Mode: Rapunzel’s Revenge/Calamity Jack is great for those first time, non-graphic novel loving readers. The story is easy to follow, but exciting enough to keep one entertained, especially with the full-color illustrations. I think Calamity Jack may gear a little more towards boys, who will love all the action/fighting. Girls may be a harder sell, especially if they don’t like graphic novels, but if they give it a try they may just like it.

To check out the rest of the tour, see the links below:

My Own Little Corner of the World
Book Blather
Book Crumbs
Abby (the) Librarian
Dolce Bellezza
The Book Cellar
Carrie’s YA Bookshelf
Bookshelf Monstrosity
Everyday Reading
Frenetic Reader
Sally Apokedak
Reading is my Superpower
Through the Looking Glass Book Review
Booking Mama
Cafe of Dreams
Becky’s Book Reviews
The Hungry Readers
The Friendly Book Nook
Maw Books

4 thoughts on “GN Inspection: Calamity Jack

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