The Mostly True Story of Jack

The Mostly True Story of Jack (unabr.). 7 CDs. 7:34 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4558-6969-5. $54.97.
Gr 5–8—Jack is accustomed to being ignored and having no friends, but he doesn't want to spend the summer in Hazelwood, Iowa, with his aunt and uncle. The town feels weird, magical almost, if a person believes in magic, which Jack does not. Everyone in town seems to recognize him, although he has never been there before. Jack makes his first real friends, is bullied, and the most powerful man in town is plotting the boy's death. Jack soon learns about the secret history of Hazelwood, about the magic gone wrong and about the Lady who whisks children away to her secret underground world where she steals their souls. When his friend Wendy disappears, Jack knows he is the only one who can bring her back and restore the magical balance. During his short summer in Hazelwood, Jack learns about friendship and his place in the world. Luke Daniels masterfully narrates Kelly Barnhill's tale (Little Brown, 2011), bringing even the minor characters to life and creating suspense from the first sentence. A fine choice for reluctant readers.—Amanda Rollins, Northwest Village School, Plainville, CT

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