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Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689864353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689864353
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Previously available in a Fawcett edition, this sweeping historical adventure/romance is the first volume of the Kingdom cycle, which also includes On Fortune's Wheel and The Wings of a Falcon. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up An intense and elegantly written historical adventure-romance set in "a distant time and far-off place." Gwyn, the high-spirited daughter of the innkeeper, finds a disguise she believes to be that of the legendary Jackaroo, a figure whose actions resemble those of Robin Hood. Gwyn decides to use Jackaroo's disguise to help those less fortunate than she. But readers soon learn that there are several other individuals who masquerade as Jackaroo, each for his own selfish or unselfish reasons. Jackaroo will stimulate the imagination and make readers marvel at Voigt's creative genius. She presents a carefully designed, mystery-filled plot which once again illustrates her abilities as a master storyteller. Characters are somewhat reluctant to reveal themselvesbut this is a most appropriate style for a tale of dangerous and uncertain times. Jackaroo will cause readers to pause and consider the process of legend making and the changes that take place in the retellings of legendary deeds. Karen P. Smith, Yonkers Board of Education, N.Y.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Cynthia Voigt won the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor Award for A Solitary Blue, both part of the beloved Tillerman Cycle. She is also the author of many other celebrated books for middle-grade and teen readers, including Izzy, Willy-Nilly and Jackaroo. She was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1995 for her work in literature, and the Katahdin Award in 2004. She lives in Maine.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I certainly will want to read more of the books in this series!
Sarah Sammis
Anyone who want's to read a book about historical fiction / middle ages should read it.
Annie_Bird@hotmail.com
I read it in hardback, unlike most of the books I read lately, on my Kindle.
RayofLight7

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you can make it through the first half of this book, you'll love it. I read about five chapters when I first bought it, get bored, and threw it under the bed to age for a couple of years. When I finally did finish it, it became my second favorite book. Adventure, action, and emotional twists happen in this book, but you have to wade through a deceptively bland beginning to get to it. Read it twice and I promise you'll find stuff in it that fascinates you, even though you swear it wasn't there before.
But, to the book itself - Voight has the most masterful control over her characters of any author I know. Gwen is practical, strong, sharp, and, as someone else says down here, "worth emulating." She does what we all dream of doing - become a hero: Jackaroo, who is something like our Robin Hood, only distinct in his own right. Only she finds out being a hero isn't as easy as she suspected. What I found interesting was the power of a legend, and how people could manipulate it to their purposes, but could never really control it.
This book is a thinking book. The danger it presents is mainly not through action but through concepts. No matter what you're expecting, this book will probably deliever something different, unless you've read Voight before. But give it a chance - when I finally, did, I fell in love with it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It was only when I reached university and re-read this book that I realized how subtly drawn and complete Voigt's characters were. Where a less observant reader quickly bored of Voigt's dwelling on descriptions of everyday phenomena, I finally noticed what interaction was revealed, and what depth each character portrayal went to. By the book's end I was thoroughly engaged in the characters' lives, perceptions, and feelings, and could only applaud the plot restraint Voigt demonstrated in pacing out and finally finishing this novel. It remains one of my favourites.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In every time, in every place where the people are oppressed by a ruling class, there is a hero of the poor, an outlaw who rides outside the law and is yet its greatest champion. In old England it was Robin Hood. In Spaniard-ruled California it was Zorro. And here, in this unnamed kingdom ruled by a distant King and greedy Lords, it is Jackaroo. Jackaroo is the masked outlaw who rights wrongs, who saves true love, who comes to help the people in their worst times of need. Jackaroo is the name in every story, the hero of every tale. And Jackaroo, as Gwyn, the skeptical Innkeeper's Daughter, finds out, is not what he seems to be.
Nor is anybody, as Gwyn discovers. Not the imperious Lord who winters at the Inn, not the silent servant Burl, not Gwyn's missing uncle Win...and not Gwyn herself. Beneath Jackaroo's mask, she is able to do the things that a law-abiding Kingdom girl would never be allowed--but which Gwyn has always dreamt of: being the savior of her people, actively fighting the Lords' injustice as opposed to passively accepting it, finally free of stifling tradition for the first time in sixteen years. But there is a price paid for the wearing of the mask: the heavy responsibility that comes with being a hero, and the sacrifice of herself that Gwyn must make to become Jackaroo.
Jackaroo and the Kingdom are new but familiar, the feudal society vividly depicted and the characters sharply drawn and believable. Gwyn is strong-willed and far too intelligent for her position, Burl is steadfast and fully as intelligent beneath his slow smile, and Jackaroo--no matter which face he appears in--is the hero of every folktale. Voight's writing is compelling, making "Jackaroo" a page-turner to be read...and re-read...and read yet again.
It's that good.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SJbooknut on March 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had read Jackaroo several years ago--probably 12 or 13 years now--and only remembered the basic story when I read it again with my son. He's a 10-year-old boy, and in the first few chapters, he would ask, "When is it going to get good?"--for a boy his age, it was a rather slow start, but I enjoyed the descriptions, the setting up of the story. But once Gwyn was trapped in Old Megg's house with the lordling, he was hooked and many nights he begged for another chapter. And he didn't even mind that it had a mushy, romantic ending, which is saying a lot.
I loved the characters of Gwyn and Burl--I'm not quite sure what book one of the other reviewers was reading who said the characters were one-dimensional. And what's so bad about a nameless kingdom? It's not as finely drawn as Tolkien's Middle Earth, that's true--but then I wasn't reading it as a fantasy reader. I just like a good story with good characters, and Jackaroo certainly delivers that.
I do agree that both Tad and Gaderian were not much like 10-year-old boys that we see in 20th/21st century America, but that is not where they were living. They were living in a time and place where Gwyn was almost considered an old maid at age 16!
We are going to read On Fortune's Wheel next (the next Kingdom book) but will probably skip Elske because it's too girly. I've read On Fortune's Wheel before, and I'm looking forward to re-reading it as well.
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