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Jack Adrift: Fourth Grade Without a Clue (Jack Henry) Hardcover – August 27, 2003

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Series: Jack Henry (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (August 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374399875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374399870
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,604,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Readers of the "Jack Henry" series have followed Jack's adventures from fifth to eighth grade as his nomadic family moved from place to place. Now, in a prequel about his fourth-grade year, Gantos's alter ego arrives on a naval base in Cape Hatteras, NC. Jack is quick to acclimate to their new home, a camouflage-painted trailer in the middle of a swamp, and his optimism is rewarded when school starts and he finds himself head over heels in love with his new teacher, Miss Noelle. His unabashed adoration and efforts to please her are poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. The school principal assigns Jack the unwanted job of "Respect Detective," which turns out to be another name for a snitch. The local veterinarian operates on a backward-footed duck and persuades Jack to rehabilitate it in time for the local Pet Parade. The chapters are not plot driven but rather interrelated vignettes that queue up in Jack's memory during this school year. Slapstick is nicely balanced with reflection as the boy struggles to understand his father's moods or make sense of the death of a wheelchair-bound peer. The catchy format imitates a journal with lined-paper edges and excerpts of Jack's handwritten ramblings. A fun and refreshing read.
Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. The story of young Jack Henry continues in this prequel to the previous four books, which takes place when Jack is nine. His father has joined the navy and the family is moving to Cape Hatteras. Jack jumps off the pages as he falls in love with his teacher, referees a genius contest between his brother and his friend, and learns from his father how to brood. Some of the best scenes are between Jack and his dad. Both of them try to come to terms with who they are and what they believe about the world in general and themselves in particular--always cheered or egged on by Mrs. Henry, who sees her men's weakness and loves them anyway. Jack never sounds like a nine-year-old in the narrative, and the form sometimes oddly juxtaposes the sense of recent happenings with a long look back. That dichotomy is balanced by Gantos' wonderful writing, which is witty, smart, and unafraid to tackle tough topics. A worthy addition to the series. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on July 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jack Henry is back. The stories in this book weave together as Jack faces a new school with a nasty principal, a beautiful and smart teacher, irritating siblings, and parents who are preaching totally different approaches to success in life. The book has great humor and pathos. Gantos perfectly captures the mental state of boys at this age.
Some of the book's funniest moments are captured in the handwritten diary entries that precede the chapters. Be sure to read them. Also, given the fate of so many other Henry family pets, I have to admit I feared the worst when the vet tells Jack how to get his duck to put on new feathers. Like all his books, this one is a fun read aloud. You know the writing is terrific when listeners to the story put their hands over their eyes when the duck goes in the freezer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paula E. Carmona on December 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My fourth-grade son and I are reading "Jack Adrift" out loud to each other. We both love the book, which makes us laugh and nearly cry with the sensitive and humorous descriptions of a young boy's life. Gantos is an excellent writer, who really makes you feel sympathetic to the characters in "Jack Adrift." We are now eager to read his other books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Mahmoud on February 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jack Henery writes books about A.D.H.D. kids and my son loves them.
This book was wonderfully written and we bought the series.
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