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The Mostly True Story of Jackby Kelly Barnhill
Synopses & Reviews
Enter a world where magic bubbles just below the surface. . . .
When Jack is sent to Hazelwood, Iowa, to live with his strange aunt and uncle, he expects a summer of boredom. Little does he know that the people of Hazelwood have been waiting for him for quite a long time.
When he arrives, three astonishing things happen: First, he makes friends — not imaginary friends but actual friends. Second, he is beaten up by the town bully; the bullies at home always ignored him. Third, the richest man in town begins to plot Jack's imminent, and hopefully painful, demise. It's up to Jack to figure out why suddenly everyone cares so much about him. Back home he was practically, well, invisible.
The Mostly True Story of Jack is an eerie tale of magic, friendship, and sacrifice. It's about things broken and things put back together. Above all, it's about finding a place to belong.
"In her first novel, children's nonfiction author Barnhill quickly establishes a sense of foreboding in the town of Hazelwood, Iowa, as Jack — ignored by and invisible to his parents, who are divorcing — moves in with his eccentric aunt and uncle, whose house appears to be possessed. Slowly, Jack befriends some locals, including 14-year-old twins Wendy and Frankie, the latter scarred and silent years after a childhood disappearance, and the eerily psychic Anders. Jack also becomes the focus of a town bully and an evil patriarch who cultivates power through magic; tension mounts as Jack provokes the supernatural forces that cause children and buildings to disappear. Suspense builds steadily, with twists and surprises woven throughout, and friendship emerges as a powerful theme. 'Given that he didn't really know what it was like to have friends, Jack didn't realize until that very moment that he missed Wendy and that he had been very lonely for the last few days.' Barnhill explores the struggle between good and evil and the power of love and sacrifice, creating a provocative and highly original mystery. Ages 8 — 12. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Kelly Barnhill is a poet and literary fiction writer. This is her debut children's book. Kelly lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children.
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