Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Calamity Jack

Calamity Jack

Shannon Hale , Dean Hale
Illustrator:  Nathan Hale 
Graphic Novel
For ages 10 and up
Bloomsbury Books, 2010   ISBN: 1599900769

Jack is the kind of fellow who fancies himself to be a bit of a “criminal mastermind.” He tries not to think to much about the wrongness of the things that he does, until they miscarry, which they often do. Then one day Jack decides to take on Blunderboar, a local businessman who just happens to be mean, powerful, and a giant. Blunderboar is a bully, and Jack decides to make him pay for his cruel behavior – by using some magical beans. Jack doesn’t think for a moment that tackling Blunderboar might not be such a good idea.

Unfortunately, Jack’s plan backfires in a big way and Jack has to leave town. He goes out west and he has a fantastic adventure with a girl called Rapunzel. When the adventure is over and Jack is flush with success – and gold eggs – he decides to head back to his home town to redeem himself and help his mother. When he arrives in Shyport, he discovers that the city has changed dramatically, and for the worse.

By combining fairytale, fantasy, and much more, Shannon and Dean Hale have once again created a memorable graphic novel that fans of this genre will greatly enjoy. Nathan Hale’s wonderful illustrations beautifully compliment the gripping and often amusing tale. You can read about Jack’s adventures with Rapunzel in Rapunzel’s Revenge.