by Ben Hatke
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy provided by the publisher because Ben’s coming (September 30th)!
Release date: September 6, 2016
Content: There’s some intense magical violence, but other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s geared towards the 10 and up crowd, but will probably be in the Middle Grade Graphic Novel section of the bookstore.
It’s summer, and Jack is stuck at home taking care of his autistic sister, Maddy, while his mother juggles two jobs. It’s not any fun, especially since Maddy doesn’t talk (much). But one day, at a local fair, Jack and Maddy meet some traveling strangers (and a nice Easter Egg for Zita fans!) and end up trading their mother’s car for some seeds.
(Yes, this is a nice twist on Jack and the Beanstalk. I’m glad you noticed.)
The seeds turn out to be magical, which sets off a chain of events that leaves Jack more than a bit wary. Along with a new friend, Lilly, the three kids try to figure out just what they’ve unleashed on their world.
Just a heads up: this is definitely a set-up for a new adventure. You learn about Jack, Maddy, and their mother. You find out a bit about Lilly (who is awesome. Period.). But, other than that, there’s a lot of mystery. The seeds are definitely Dangerous (and attract dragons!), and the conflict comes from Jack, Maddy, and Lilly’s disagreement over whether or not they should keep the garden going. Jack comes down on no, the girls vote yes. And it’s that conflict which sets up the adventure for books to come. (And here we are, again, waiting for sequels!)
I adore Ben Hatke, love his art style, and think he’s a great story teller. This one is definitely great for fans of Zita, as well as a good entry point for others (those who are hesitant to read Zita?). Fantastic!