Jack's New Power by Jack Gantos
Stories from a Caribbean Year (Jack Henry Adventures)

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Synopsis

Jack Henry has moved to the island of Barbados with his offbeat family and his secret diary. But still he can't escape his penchant for wacky misadventure. Because of a headless chicken, he gets a violent case of blood poisoning. In a pepper-eating contest with his father, he discovers the perils of male bonding. And then he has his heartstrings twanged by an older woman who just happens to be his sister's best friend.





These are just a few of his trials and tribulations in these eight fierce and funny stories, based on the author's own childhood diaries.



 

About Jack Gantos

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Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Jack was raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack's writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister's diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers' lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories. While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack's career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children's books and began to teach courses in children's book writing and children's literature. He developed the master's degree program in children's book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children's book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.
 
Published June 2, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 228 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Jack's New Power

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A long-abandoned, overgrown golf course is Walker's refuge, a private place where he spends every free moment: There, he liberates animals from the school's lab and watches classmates Karen and Jennifer--in his words--"screwing around."

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on the trip to the vet, Jack's father suggests tying the dog to the car, like a dead deer, in case its bladder lets go (it's not the first time the dog's bodily functions are discussed).

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Jack, the 13-year-old with the experience of an 8-year-old and the wisdom of an 80-year-old, describes his family with an indissoluble blend of mockery and admiration.

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The hilarious “rewedding” vows—his “I forgive you for all the times you called me a lifelong loser” begets wife Fran’s “I forgive you for trying to run me over with your motorcycle”—establish the theme for this episode in Joey’s chaotic childhood: How do you forgive people for being who they are?

Jul 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Jack's New Power: Stories fro...

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Gantos draws inspiration from his own childhood diaries in the fourth collection of stories about Jack Henry.

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Presumably (hopefully?) the truth mostly ends there, because Jackie's summer of 1962 begins badly: plagued by frequent and explosive nosebleeds, Jackie is assigned to take dictation for the arthritic obituary writer, Miss Volker, and kept alarmingly busy by elderly residents dying in rapid succes...

Jul 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Jack's New Power: Stories fro...

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In his Valentine-themed eighth adventure, misbehaving cat Rotten Ralph remains rude and remorseless.

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With a steady youthful voice,Datz gives an appropriately creepy and compelling edge to Gantos's strange, darkly comic novel of disturbing small-town goings-on.

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Fans of Gantos's irrepressible Ralph who are ready to graduate from picture books will eagerly leap into this early chapter book, the first installment of the Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader series.

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Knowing that the narrator is destined to land in jail keeps suspense at a high pitch, but this book's remarkable achievement is the multiple points of view that emerge, as experiences force a fledgling writer to continually revise his perspective of himself and the world around him.

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For kids anxious about a trip to the doctor, their favorite feline may offer some assistance, in Rotten Ralph Feels Rotten: A Rotten Ralph Rotten Reader by Jack Gantos, illus.

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Jack Gantos continues the Jack Henry Books (Jack on the Tracks;

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Walker, a pensive loner, avoids confrontation as much as possible-until the son of a fundamentalist preacher accuses him of being gay.

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when he can think of nothing to write, he begins to pack the diary with ``stuff''--bugs, baseball cards, stamps and so on--but he concludes, ``I was covering over the empty white space of the pages in the same way I covered my eyes with my hands when I watched a monster movie.'' A bittersweet res...

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At the end of seventh grade, Jack Henry decides to write a novel in this third collection of interlinked stories.

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These companion stories to the Jack Henry books are ""extravagantly imaginative adventures,"" said PW;

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An exhilarating summer marked by death, gore and fire sparks deep thoughts in a small-town lad not uncoincidentally named "Jack ...

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