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Calamity Jack Hardcover – January 5, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Rapunzel's Revenge Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-9–The Hales follow up Rapunzel's Revenge (Bloomsbury, 2008) with this fast-moving story focusing on Jack. It begins in the city of Shyport with his birth. Even as a child, Jack tends toward scheming, conning, and thievery with various accomplices, including Pru, a hat-fancying pixie. One scheme involving magical beans and the wealthy and corrupt giant Blunderboar goes awry, leaving Jack's tenement and his mother's bakery destroyed. Jack's mother orders him to go, and go he does with a certain goose under his arm. After the events recounted in Rapunzel's Revenge, Jack and Rapunzel head back to Shyport to set things right. They arrive to find that Jack's mother is being held prisoner by Blunderboar, who is virtually running the city. They team up with Pru and Freddie Sparksmith, a young journalist, to save Jack's mom and the day. Nathan Hale's artwork again places the action in a fairy-tale version of the American West, now with the city as backdrop. His character sketches are delightfully expressive, and the book has the same rich palette as the previous story. It should satisfy readers who enjoy adventure, fairy tales, and anyone who loves a rogue. Some fans of Bill Willingham's Jack of Fables series (Vertigo) may also enjoy this take on the Jack stories for a younger audience.–Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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Review

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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599900769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599900766
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
About the Book: Jack has long been a trickster-he's just not had the best of luck. When a heist involving magic beans, a beanstalk, and giants goes wrong, Jack leaves town. After his adventures with Rapunzel (in Rapunzel's Revenge) Jack returns home to Shyport only to discover that the giant Blunderboar is in charge, the city is in ruins thanks to a infestation of ant people, and his mother is being held captive by Blunderboar and in charge of baking bones into bread. It's up to Jack and Rapunzel to save the day!

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have read the Hale team's other graphic novel "Rapunzel's Revenge", you will enjoy this further splash into yet another circa 1800s fairy tale blend with the dynamic duo of Rapunzel and Jack. If you haven't, well, this stands very well on its own with the classic "Jack and the Beanstalk" story set in a dangerous old-time city called Shyport, where giants control everything, including the cops.

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.
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Format: Paperback
My daughter read Rapunzel's Revenge when she was in third grade and she ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!!!!! Later, when she was in sixth grade, she remembered the story and asked for this book (the sequel) for Christmas. She was ecstatic when she got the second book. After reading, her opinion was that Calamity Jack is okay, but the plot isn't as exciting. So her advice to anyone who is thinking of buying this book is to definitely get Rapunzel's Revenge, and maybe get Calamity Jack.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
She loves it. She first read Rapunzels Revenge and asked for Calamity Jack for a birthday gift. She is an advanced reader and prefers books with art. As long as she's reading-I'm happy. Very colorful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nathan Hale came to my little boys' (grades 3 and 5) elementary school, and they both got interested in his books, starting with "Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood." My 3rd grader had fallen into a little slump and wasn't too interested in reading, and these books totally got him interested again! Even though the books are comic strip style (I prefer they reach chapter books), they have lots of history in them, which I loved. Since then, both boys have asked for and read all of his books! Thank you, Nathan Hale!!
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Format: Hardcover
Calamity Jack picks up the adventures of Rapunzel and Jack where Rapunzel's Revenge left off, but this time the story is told from Jack's point of view.

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.
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