The Mostly True Story of Jack and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Mostly True Story of Jack Hardcover – August 2, 2011


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, August 2, 2011
$16.99
$0.62 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

The Mostly True Story of Jack + Iron Hearted Violet
Price for both: $33.98

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together
  • Iron Hearted Violet $16.99

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Top 20 Books for Kids
See the books our editors' chose as the Best Children's Books of 2014 So Far or see the lists by age: Baby-2 | Ages 3-5 | Ages 6-8 | Ages 9-12 | Nonfiction

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316056707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316056700
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011 : Jack had always been invisible. Not literally, though it often felt that way even around his family. When Jack arrives in Hazelwood, Iowa, to spend the summer with his unusual relatives he suddenly finds himself getting noticed…a lot. In fact, people seem to know all about him, especially Mr. Avery, the wealthiest man in town who inexplicably hates Jack on sight. In The Mostly True Story of Jack a keenly perceptive boy, a fearsome girl, and her damaged twin brother, help Jack discover who he is--unearthing deeply rooted secrets in the process. Twists and turns abound as more is revealed in this strange town where nature, magic, love, and sacrifice, are deeply entwined with the extraordinary power of belonging. --Seira Wilson

Review

* "Truly splendid...the ultimate page-turner."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Suspense builds steadily, with twists and surprises woven throughout, and friendship emerges as a powerful theme....Barnhill explores the struggle between good and evil and the power of love and sacrifice, creating a provocative and highly original mystery."Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Wonderful in the best possible way: filled with wonders and magic, yes, but magic that is ancient, numinous, and tied to the natural world...Barnhill's first novel for children is a marvel of both plotting and characterization, and it provides a foundation for the omnipresent magic that elevates this title to the first rank of contemporary children's literature."—Booklist, starred review

* "A compelling story with genuine characters and a deliciously creepy atmosphere. The suspense builds from the very first page...This delightful story will captivate readers with its blend of magic, mystery, and adventure."—VOYA, starred review

"There's a dry wit and playfulness to Barnhill's writing that recalls Lemony Snicket and Blue Balliett...a delightfully unusual gem."—The Los Angeles Times

"Richly atmospheric, this folklorically flavored tale offers a strangely pleasing combination of midwestern charm and hauntingly creepy Tim Burton-like imagination. Barnhill reveals just enough of Hazelwood's many secrets to keep the readers gripped, and the perfectly timed pacing makes for a quick and accessible read."—The Bulletin

More About the Author

Kelly Barnhill is an author, teacher and mom. Her newest book is called IRON HEARTED VIOLET (Little, Brown; October 9, 2012) - a story of a plain and reckless princess, a quick-thinking stable boy, a forbidden book, a wicked god, and the very last dragon in existence. Ms. Barnhill's first novel - THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK (Little, Brown; August, 2011) received four star reviews. She is also the author of several short stories for grown-ups, and thirteen high-interest nonfiction books for children. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her three brilliant children, architect husband, and emotionally-unstable dog.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
18
4 star
4
3 star
3
2 star
6
1 star
0
See all 31 customer reviews
It is suspenseful and well written and unique.
herdingcats
The characters are fascinating, and this is just a really great story just like many of the stories I remember from my youth.
S. Fox
It is a very good book for children who enjoy books about a mystery and that are mystical.
Phyllis Gronewold

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Fuller on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Complicated. That is the best word I can think to not only describe the plot behind "The Mostly True Story of Jack" by Kelly Barnhill, but quite possibly the whole point behind her writing the book in the first place. Don't misunderstand me; while the plot is unique, interesting and cleverly fast-paced, it is also easy to follow. Information is slowly unraveled for the reader as they discover the mystery of Jack, his foggy past, and the dark and mysterious history and happenings in the town of Hazelwood, which he finds himself recently plunked in the middle of. Readers, young or old, will find the book fascinating and it will easily capture their attention. With that said, after completing the book, I am still left wondering: Did I like this story? Did I like the characters? What was the message of the book? All questions I am sure very few 9-12 year olds will ever ask when reading a book, but this 30-year-old is left with them nonetheless.

While the storyline and message of the book is that things are complicated, I don't feel like the characters were very deep or complicated on their own. I found the emotions in this book a bit dry, and the relationships sort of stale. I can't put my finger on exactly why I feel this way, but an example would be the relationship between Jack and his uncle Clive. The reader can tell that Clive adores and cares for Jack, but Jack doesn't ever really reciprocate that affection anywhere in the story and Clive never really expresses it either. That is just one example; even the most personable characters like tomboy Wendy and school-bully Clayton lack scenes/interactions that would leave them a bit more memorable. With that said, there are many likable characters, I just don't feel I know or understand them individually very well.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on July 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I started reading this book, I was impressed with two things. First, the writing was excellent, it flowed smoothly allowing the reader to focus on the story rather than the writing. Second, the story was kind of weird and I'm not really into weird, many of the kids I work with are into weird but I'm not. So I was tempted to put the book down and go onto something else. But then I decided that wasn't fair, especially since the book had been mentioned as a Newbery contender by one of my favorite bloggers, A Fuse #8 Production. And I also have a hard time putting a book down without finishing it, I know that's silly, but that's the way I am. So I finished the book.

The plot line is definitely unique, I can't say I've read another book like it, ever (and I've read hundreds of books in my lifetime). I was really impressed at the way that Barnhill slowly revealed bits and pieces of the puzzle, which kind of makes the book a mystery, but it doesn't really feel like one. This would be a great book to hand to kids who want a mystery, but not a formulaic one.

Being a geography fan, setting is something I pay a great deal of attention to. Here, once again, Barnhill excels. The reader quickly gets a feel for this town that is in some ways like any other small town, but in other ways very unique. Here's an example,

It was an old wooden farmhouse with a large porch, wide windows, and a small round porthole at the roof's peak. And it was purple. A deep, rich purple so intense it almost seemed to vibrate. Jack squinted. The front door was bright green and the trim of each window was painted a different color: red, yellow, orange, and blue.

You have to admit, that is a very intriguing description of the house that Jack comes to stay in.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on July 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When Jack comes to a small country town, everything changes. All he knows is that he's going to spend the summer with Uncle Clive and Aunt Mabel, but his coming impacts the people in the little town even before he reaches the unusual purple house where his aunt and uncle live. Little Frankie, the boy with the scarred face and the missing voice, hears a sound of bells, and his sister Mabel smells something sweet and strange. Anders feels a humming and prickling in the summer grass beneath his feet. Even Clayton Avery, the town bully, gets an odd ringing in his ears.

As for Jack himself, it hasn't really occurred to him just how strange his own life is: the kids at school, bus drivers, even his own parents tend to forget about him. But the experience intensifies when his mother drops him off. Afterwards, he tries to call her or his father, but he can never get through. He writes a letter, but the words disappear from the paper before he can get to the mailbox as his uncle's two big cats watch him far too knowingly.

On the other hand, Jack makes friends for the first time, with Anders, Mabel, and (sort of) Frankie. But town bully Clayton Avery tries to beat him up, and Clayton's wealthy father apparently wants to kill Jack. Why?

Kelly Barnhill's book is a fantasy, but it is also a mystery, its suspense building as we try to understand who Jack is and why he matters to so many different people. The other mystery is what happened to Frankie, who disappeared for a time and then was rescued by Jack's uncle. During the period when he was missing, people tended to forget he had ever existed. He's not the only one--others also disappeared and were instantly forgotten, mostly children who vanished from the old schoolhouse.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?