Crazy Jack (Laurel-Leaf Books)

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9780440227885: Crazy Jack (Laurel-Leaf Books)
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Once there was a boy named Jack who traded away a cow for a handful of beans. But Jack was no fool, he was haunted since the day his father climbed up into the clouds and vanished. When the beans provide a way for Jack to pursue his father, he enters the Giant’s world, where he discovers the terrifying ends of greed and desire. In Donna Jo Napoli’s transforming novel, Jack’s search for his father yields not gold, but sustenance, love, and the means to build a life.

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Review:

Donna Jo Napoli's fiction for teens often puts a contemporary twist on old fairy tales, offering new depth and psychological insight. In previous young adult novels she has retold "Hansel and Gretel" from the point of view of the witch (The Magic Circle) and the story of "Rapunzel" from a multitude of perspectives (Zel), and has turned the tale of "Rumpelstiltskin" inside out (Spinners). Here she follows the traditional story of "Jack and the Beanstalk" pretty closely--the cow traded for magic beans, the vast beanstalk reaching up a cliff, and the cannibalistic giant chanting "Fee, fi, fo, fum" are all present. But Napoli enriches the tale with a romance between Jack and a neighbor girl and the mysterious disappearance of Jack's father, all told in vibrant poetic language and studded with authentic details of country life in the 1500s. On another level, she adds resonance to the narrative by creating an oedipal dimension--a disturbing buried suggestion that the devouring giant is a dangerous aspect of Jack's otherwise loving father. In the same manner, the giant's wife, who feeds Jack luscious food and hides him from the giant, recalls his own mother in the aspect of temptress. All this is very subliminal, but even younger readers will feel the mythological power as they devour this exciting story. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

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Once there was a boy named Jack who traded away a cow for a handful of beans. But Jack was no fool, he was haunted since the day his father climbed up into the clouds and vanished. When the beans provide a way for Jack to pursue his father, he enters the Giant’s world, where he discovers the terrifying ends of greed and desire. In Donna Jo Napoli’s transforming novel, Jack’s search for his father yields not gold, but sustenance, love, and the means to build a life.
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780385326278: Crazy Jack

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0385326270 ISBN 13:  9780385326278
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1999
Hardcover

9780786230471: Crazy Jack

Thornd..., 2000
Hardcover

9780606206174: Crazy Jack

Demco ..., 2002
Softcover

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