Review: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
I have to admit, I didn’t exactly remember all the details of where I had left off in volume 1 of the Mighty Jack series. But it didn’t make a difference. While this is a solid volume 2 that doesn’t exactly stand on its own, it’s easy to pick up the pieces and move on without re-reading the first volume.
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
By Ben Hatke.
First Second. 2017. ISBN 9781626722675
hc, $22.99. 207pp.
Grades 4 and up
Jack has climbed up the beanstalk to save his sister Maddy, but he comes up to an alternate universe of giants and goblins. He and his friend Lilly have many obstacles to save his sister and are in need of help. The special plants’ “super powers” are limited in this alternate world, so Jack and Lilly need to rely on ingenuity to free Maddy.
The action starts in the first two-page spread and it doesn’t stop until the last page. While Jack and Lilly have some depth, they are a fairly typical hero and heroine. Lilly is a strong female who refuses to marry the Goblin King. Jack is trying to save his sister at all costs.
The artwork is lush and detailed—“This is not Earth,” says Lilly. The illustrations are vibrant and action oriented. While the book isn’t text-heavy, readers will slow down to capture all the details of the artwork.
If you don’t already have volume 1, buy it, because readers will want to read what happens first.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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