Friday, December 9, 2011

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill

Jack has always felt as though there were something different about him. No one seems to pay much attention to him, even his own family. It's almost as if he were invisible. Things really start to get strange when, following his parents divorce, he is sent to live with his eccentric aunt and uncle. He swears he has never met them before, but they have photographs of him in their home and the townspeople all seem to know who he is. Unaccustomed to all the attention, Jack struggles to make sense of his new life as he makes strange new friends, including Wendi and her twin brother Frankie, who has recently resurfaced after having mysteriously disappeared for several years. Frankie seemingly cannot speak and appears to hold the key as to why the whole town, including some nefarious characters, are so interested in Jack. As magic and mystery continue to unfold, Jack discovers his destiny and his true place in the world, which is nothing like his ordinary life back home.

This novel definitely draws the reader in with its magical elements and feeling of suspense. However, in the end, the premise doesn't completely make sense, even if you suspend disbelief and give yourself over to the "fantasy" of it all. Still, it is a unique story and one that children certainly wouldn't have encountered before. For that reason it is recommended, especially for fantasy lovers. 2011.


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