Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King is a graphic novel (a book that tells a story through a comic strip format) which presents a fairy tale in a modern day setting with a pair of young teenagers as the adventure's heroes making it very relatable for today's kids.  Written and illustrated by Ben Hatke, who also created the New York Times-bestselling Zita the Spacegirl graphic novel trilogy, his Mighty Jack adventures are a reinvention of the classic fable Jack and the BeanstalkMight Jack and the Goblin King which will arrive to comic shop and book store shelves on September 5, 2017, is the second act in Hatke's contemporary Jack and the Beanstalk tale following his initial graphic novel Mighty Jack released in 2016.  In these stories, readers are transported to a fantasy world that contains ogres, goblins, giants and a number of other bizarre creatures that range from being really adorable to very dangerous and deadly.

In Mighty Jack, the garden behind Jack's house has become filled with amazing creatures that have gone wild in his backyard after being set loose by magic beans that he and his little sister Maddy planted.  That graphic novel concludes with Maddy being taken by one of the creatures to a place located at the top of a gigantic beanstalk inhabited by giants that grind the bones of human children to feed a beast within their castle in the sky.  Mighty Jack and the Goblin King starts off with Jack and his neighbor Lilly in fast pursuit up the beanstalk.  Will they be able to save Maddy and what role does the Goblin King play in Jack and Lilly's exploits?  You'll have to read the comic to find out!

Hatke's Mighty Jack graphic novels are Middle Grade Books meant primarily for a reading audience of 8 to 12 year olds. My eight year old twins both read the complimentary review copy of Might Jack and the Goblin King that A Geek Daddy received and really got into the story and enjoyed it.  In fact I read it too and found it to be a fun read as well.

My son particularly liked the illustrated action scenes that captured his attention and enticed him to want to read through the whole story.  He also was really excited about all the different creatures included within the story; especially the .... DRAGON!  Enjoying drawing himself, my son also relished Hatke's illustrations and I've seen him doodling some of the characters from the graphic novel since he read it.

My daughter was equally impressed by Mighty Jack and the Goblin King.  She really appreciated how Lilly was a strong, likeable character that was portrayed equally as a heroine rather than as a sidekick to Jack.  The warm coloring style of the comic strips was something she pointed out as particularly drawing her into the graphic novel's story so I'll give a shout out to Alex Campbell and Hilary Sycamore for the work they contributed to the book.  And her favorite scene?  "The goblin babies ... they are so cute!" she exclaimed.

While not excessive or explicit the graphic novel does contain violence and death scenes.  Depending on the age and maturity of a reader as well as a family's tolerance for this type of content a parent may want to peruse the book first before letting a child read it.  That being said there wasn't any type of material in Might Jack and the Goblin King that my kids hadn't already seen in PG rated movies so I didn't have a problem with them reading it.  I wouldn't recommend the book though for kids younger than a Middle Grade reading level though because of some of this content.

All in all my kids delighted in reading Mighty Jack and the Goblin King and I appreciated how it had them enjoying reading during their summer break from elementary school.  If you have a Middle Grade reader at home or are a parent of a teen you want to encourage to do some more reading this graphic novel would be an excellent selection to pick up for them.  Might Jack and the Goblin King has earned A GEEK DADDY nod of approval for its eye-catching artwork that is matched with a story that compels children not to just look at the graphic novel's imagery but also become engaged in reading its text.

Add Ben Hatke's Might Jack stories to your home library by clicking on either of the two title's covers below and purchasing them from Amazon.com:

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