Mighty Jack and Zita the Space Girl by Mike Hatke
Over the last few years, we’ve reviewed (and recommended enthusiastically) several books by the wonderful graphic novel writer and artist Ben Hatke. We first met Zita the Space Girl several years ago and eagerly awaited each novel in the sequence. Here’s a clip from our blog on the first in the series: Zita becomes an intergalactic hero when she flies off to rescue her friend Joseph who was abducted by aliens. The cult of Scriptorians plan to sacrifice Joseph in a ritual to prevent the destruction of their planet. Picking up side-kicks along the way and encountering amazing sights and strange creatures, Zita, our spunky hero, prevails. It’s fun and funny, clever, and ultimately satisfying. Kind of a science fiction version of Alice and Wonderland/The Wizard of Oz. And there’s more in the series!
Of course, when we found that Ben Hatke was introducing a new hero: Mighty Jack, we had to dig into that series:
You don’t have to read more than a few pages to understand that Mighty Jack is based on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. But in this contemporary retelling, the old tale takes a decidedly compelling twist. First, there are the modern characters: Jack, who is dreading summer, since he has to care for his sister Maddie while his single Mom works; Maddie, who is autistic and never speaks–until she does one day! At the flea market, she tells Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. Yikes! Big mistake–or is it? What happens when the garden that he plants from the seeds runs amok? And when a dragon enters the scene? We love the cliff hanging elements throughout the book, and the thoughtful themes that make the adventures and humor even more compelling. Great storytelling, wonderful artwork. . .this is the start of a not-to-miss series of books.
So now you have the background for the new book that combines these unlikely two heroes. And their quest is a mighty one indeed: to save the world! A delightful middle school reader book for fall. Highly recommended!