Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

illus. by Ben Hatke. 208p. First Second. Sept. 2017. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781626722675; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781626722668. POP
Gr 4–7—In this follow-up to Mighty Jack, the titular character and his friend Lilly travel through a portal in search of Jack's sister, Maddy, who has been kidnapped by an ogre. The duo are separated and must battle their own monsters, helped along the way by even more winsome and fantastical creatures than in the first volume. The strong character development gives this swashbuckling, imaginative tale an air of authenticity. With each page-turn, Jack and Lilly become more well rounded and complex, and the villains become ever more daunting. The artwork is bright but never garish. Panels are incredibly action-packed but have fairly simple backgrounds, moving the plot along deftly and keeping the focus on the protagonists. Charming, spot-on dialogue personalizes the various creatures.
VERDICT An exciting conclusion to a modern-day take on "Jack and the Beanstalk," this title is even stronger than the previous book. Highly recommended for libraries where the first installment is popular.

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