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The Giants and the Joneses Hardcover – August 11, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5–Most giants in Groil disregard the fairy tale about the tiny thief who once climbed a plant up to their land, but young Jumbeelia is sure that the pocket-sized iggly plops must exist. She drops a mysterious seed over the cloud edge, and, sure enough, a bimplestonk grows in the night. She climbs down to the miniature world where she collects some souvenirs, including three children–Collette; her brother, Stephen; and their baby sister, Poppy. The humans attempt to communicate with their huge captor, but, like all giants, Jumbeelia speaks only Groilish, and, in any case, she is too large to hear them. She installs the children in her dollhouse and plays nicely with her new toys, but her brother is jealous and wants the iggly plops for his own. When he gets hold of them, he plays cruel, dangerous games with them, even forcing Stephen into deadly combat with a colossal wasp. The children resolve to escape, but the giant world is filled with dangerous objects and enormous creatures, including a very hungry cat and a mad old giant with a grudge against humans. The use of Groilish adds the appeal of a secret code to the story. All dialogue among the giants is written strictly in their own language. In-text translation is rare, although almost everything is clear in context. Dictionaries are provided so that young readers can become proficient in the lingo. An exciting story with a subtle message about respect and cooperation.–Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
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Review

“The Giants and the Joneses had humour, suspense and an invented language that enthralled me.” ―The Evening Standard (London)

“Children will love this miniaturised adventure . . . it's set to be a giant hit.” ―The Herald (England)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805078053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805078053
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,511,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Bly on November 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My girls - 5 and 8 - love this book. I read it to them three months ago and we still talk about "igglyplops" and "bealy" things. The story is compelling -- three kids in a world of giants. The giants have their own language, but kids can identify with the giant childrens' normal everyday lives. There's an imagined world, suspense, and siblings who grow to love one another -- who could ask for anything else?
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Format: Paperback
This is what I wish I had known about this book before reading it to my children: After the children are abducted from their home they are subjected to various tortures which include: being almost intentionally drowned in a bath and sucked down the drain, being buried in sand up to their heads and threatened with giant insects, being juggled, being forced to eat giant hot peppers, used as crash-test-dummies in a remote control car, dangled out of windows, locked in jars with giant wasps and a pin for defence, and forced to do other things.
Here's a quote: "This miniature girl was the perfect victim for the experiments and tortures that he could only dream of inflicting on his life-size sister. He sqeezed her more tightly as her carried her into his room. Still smiling, he zipped her up in his gym bag..."
As an adult, I found these occurences - some of which were particularly, vividly protrayed through the eyes of the tortured children - rather upsetting and it was upsetting to my children as well.
We also found the constant Groilish a little annoying at times, just wishing for some plain english.
It is a well written book however but may not be enjoyable or appropriate for all children. I just found it depressing if anything.
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Format: Hardcover
The Giants and the Joneses begins where Jack and the Beanstalk leaves off. In our time, the Giants of the land of Groil still tell the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk." But no one really believes in the "Iggly Plops" or the Little People. No one except an eight-year old giant named Jumbeelia. Jumbeelia drops a bean over the edge of Groil and the next day she climbs down a giant beanstalk where she collects a few new toys - including the three Jones children.

This is a fun story with the added challenge of a make-believe giant language to decode. (A dictionary is included.) The story does get a little scary when Jumbeelia's brother captures the Jones children and mistreats them, but this shouldn't be enough to put most children off. In addition, this story may lead readers to contemplate sibling relationships, treatment of smaller, helpless creatures, and whether there may be truth in legends.
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Format: Paperback
This story is sick and disturbing. Half way through reading this book to my children I had to quit. The giant brother in the story, Zab, is a psychopath. That is not an exaggeration or hyperbole in the least, he is an absolute psychopath who takes pleasure in various forms of child abuse and human torture. I can't comprehend why this is considered an entertaining read for young children.

One of the first scenes with Zab and the little people he is trying to drown them for fun. The author describes how the older girl struggling underwater until she can scarcely hold her breath any longer and the toddler is screaming and struggling in the water because she cannot swim, all while Zab is laughing at them. Later he puts them in R/C cars and rams them in the wall and the older girl's head is slammed into the windshield. Then there is a scene where he buries them up to their neck in sand so they can't move (reminiscent of POW torture). The final straw for me was when Zab encloses the older brother and a wasp in a jar with no breathing holes so they can fight, all while Zab chants "killer, killer, killer" in Groilish.

There were other instances of torture and abuse in between as well. I simply could not stomach anymore of it nor could I continue to subject my children to it. I sincerely wish I'd never read it to them or would have stopped sooner when other red flags came up. I kept hoping that somehow the author would "make it right" and that there would be some redeeming quality but after making it to the halfway point and nothing is addressed and the abuse continues I knew it was time for ME to stop address it with my kids.
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Format: Paperback
I read this to my daughter aged about 6 and thought it was great - so good that I bought a second copy and am currently reading it to my school class (aged 7-8). There are short chapters and "silly" giant-language, the characters are children aged from teenage to 3 so all ages are involved, and a great plot tying it all together. Well worth it.
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A Kid's Review on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book Giants and the Joneses was great. I liked how the book was based on Jack and the Beanstalk. I liked how the book had its own dictionary too. I recommend this book to a lot of people. I hope she writes a sequel. I can't wait to read her other books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 7-year old daughter checked this book out at her school library and it quickly became her constant companion. She loved the book so much that she begged us to get her own copy of it. Not only does she like the story of little people, but the characters have their own language ('Groilish'). It has inspired her to come up with her own language ('Isabel-ish').
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