Calamity Jack Paperback – Jan 5 2010
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Praise for 'Rapunzel's Revenge': 'Proving that fairy tales are not just for girls a fabulous, off the wall, cowboy-themed graphic novel' The Sunday Telegraph 'Exciting and fast-paced story makes for compelling reading' NATE, Classroom Issue 'If you ever thought of graphic novels as providing an easy read, this one will confound your expectations. It offers 144 pages of rip-roaring storytelling in which the familiar fairy-tale is hugely extended, gathering in its sweep all kinds of echoes from Wild West and Super-hero films as well as other fairy-stories' The School Librarian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Shannon's mother says she was a storyteller from birth, jabbering endlessly in her carriage as the two strolled through the neighborhood; once she could form complete sentences, she made up stories, bribing her younger siblings to perform them in mini plays. When she was ten, she began writing books, mostly fantasy stories where she was the heroine, and she continued writing secretly for years while pursuing acting in stage and improv comedy. After detours studying in Mexico, the U. K., and Paraguay, Shannon earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. In the interim, she submitted short stories and novels to magazines and publishers, saving all her rejection letters which she has since laminated into one continuous 60-foot roll which she proudly unfurls to audiences as a testament to her dedication and determination.
Since the publication of her first book, The Goose Girl, in 2003, Shannon has become a beloved author to young readers as well as booksellers and educators. Her third novel, Princess Academy, earned her a Newbery Honor and is a The New York Times, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. Shannon has also written two books for adults, Austenland and The Actor and the Housewife. Shannon lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, Dean, their children, and their pet, a small plastic pig.
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Top Customer Reviews
Summary: This is very much Jack's story. Jack tells us of his childhood and his schemes as he grew up, later with his pixie cohort Prudence. Then comes the fateful day that he grows the beanstalk, steals a giant's magic goose and as he chops the beanstalk down he kills one of the giants, plus the building his mother lived in and ran her bakery from. Now the giants are after him and he leaves town. In one frame we're shown that this where the events of Rapunzel's Revenge fit in Jack's own timeline. Now that the time is right Jack returns to the city with Rapunzel where they meet up with Prudence and a strange young man with many gadgets and the foursome must save Jack's mother who has been captured by the giants and enslaved as their cook, but they must also end the oppressive giant rule and the current war with the ant people.
Comments: An adventure filled plot from start to finish that doesn't let go. As well as all the action we have a bit of a romance going on as well as the new guy likes Rapunzel and charms her with his smooth talking. Jack realizes he doesn't like this and a little love triangle is at work with some humorous moments involved. Rapunzel, again, is ever the hero. In fact, it is assumed that she is the fighter of the team and she takes that roll with grace and authority. Her part in the story is relegated to a secondary character though with Jack and Prudence being the main central characters. Quite an intricate plot that includes a couple of shocking twists, this is sure to please the intended audience and fans of the first book. However, this book stands alone very well and I'd say it is not necessary to have read Rapunzel's Revenge first to understand this book.Read more ›
I'm often asked to give booktalks on great books for tweens and I always inlcude the Hale's first graphic novel outing, RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE (and now CALAMITY JACK!). These two books are a librarian's dream come true! The Hales combine witty dialogue, action and adventure, beautifully detailed artwork, and lots of humor to create the perfect graphic novel. I would give this one to anyone who is not convinced in the value of graphic novels or anyone who's a newbie to the style. (And of course old fans, too!)
The fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk is given the steampunk treatment in CALAMITY JACK, and those looking for a great adventure read will devour this one. There's even a cute bit of romance thrown in, so I think this book will have wide appeal. It is a sequel to RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE, but readers don't necessarily have to read the first one to pick this one up. The book starts with Jack's past and gives us a little information on how Jack and Rapunzel met, so I doubt readers will feel lost.
As I mentioned, the dialogue is very witty - there were a few lines I just had to read aloud to my husband because they were too great to keep to myself.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'm often asked to give booktalks on great books for tweens and I always inlcude the Hale's first graphic novel outing, Rapunzel's Revenge. (and now Calamity Jack!) Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack are a librarian's dream come true! The Hale's combine witty dialogue, action and adventure, beautiful detailed artwork and lots of humor to create the perfect graphic novel. I would give this one to anyone who is not convinced in the value of graphic novels or anyone who's a newbie to graphic novels. (And of course old fans too!)
The fairy tale of Jack and Beanstalk is given the steampunk treatment in Calamity Jack and readers looking for a great adventure read will devour this one. There's even a cute bit of romance thrown in, so I think this one will have wide appeal. It is a sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, but readers don't necessarily have to read the first one to pick this one up. The book starts with Jack's past and gives us a little information on Jack and Rapunzel met, so I doubt readers will feel lost.
As I mentioned, the dialouge is very witty-there were a few lines I just had to read aloud to my husband because they were too great to keep to myself. The artwork is very detailed-young Jack is pictured with his tounge out while thinking and we get a glimpse that Jack hasn't lost this habit as an adult. It's this attention to detail that make the art stand out. The text and illustrations pair perfectly and work together, which makes this an excellent example of a graphic novel. I can't wait to see the final full color, since the ARC came in black and white. (And be sure to check out the inside cover page for a peek at our author's and illustrator snuck into the artwork.)
This a book to share, to pass around to friends, and re-read because each time you'll see something new. I'm hoping we can look forward to more graphic novel's from this creative team-I'd love to see their take on other fairy tales.
Jack takes the reins here as he and his sweetheart Rapunzel return to settle old scores with the giant Jack robbed. We see Jack's history, both personal and the whole giant affair, and as a result he becomes all the more lovable.
The nature of the setting has not dimmed a whit. "Rapunzel's Revenge" had all the spunk of the Old West; "Calamity Jack" brings us the all the flavor and clout of a dirty city street where you don't know who to trust. The characters? Wow, this story has them. The gallant-but-evil giants, a gritty show pixie, and a rich inventor with nerdiness to spare.
The Hales have a strong bit of magic with the graphic novel, and this is another gem to join the first.
Jack had bungled his last job in his hometown, Shyport, with disastrous results for his mother. He returns with Rapunzel with the intention of setting things right, but finds Shyport under the control of an evil giant and much more at stake than he realized.
Calamity Jack takes place in a town and has none of the Wild West charm of Rapunzel's Revenge. While it's an amusing story, especially if reading it as a sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge, it's sadly lacking anything particularly special.
I found it disconcerting that while Rapunzel's Revenge had only a Wild West tall tale type of fantasy, all the sudden in Calamity Jack there are pixies and giants and talking animals. . . If the two books didn't contain the same principle characters, it would be hard to see how they belonged together.
The art, as with Rapunzel's Revenge, is serviceable but there are no "Wow!" moments revealed through it. The art illustrates the story, rather than advancing and enhancing the storyline.
On the whole, if I hadn't enjoyed Rapunzel's Revenge and been interested in those characters, I probably wouldn't have found Calamity Jack to be worth three stars. As a furtherance of characters looked on with fondness, I enjoyed it; as a graphic novel, it was merely okay.