OVERRIDE

Jack's New Power

Stories from a Caribbean Year

Jack Henry

Jack Gantos

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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.


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.


BOOK EXCERPTS

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Jack's New Power
DynastyWe were not allowed to swim in the ocean far below the Edgewater Hotel because we were on the rough side of the island. The "windward" side, Dad had called it. It was rugged and gusty, and the blue waves arrived in towering rows all the way from Africa. They glided across the ocean like a conquering navy and crashed against the shore, which was fortified with huge skull-shaped boulders crowned with spikes of sharp rock. The waves kept coming, but Barbados didn't budge an inch. I figured if a wave ever hurled me against one of those prickly skulls I'd be gutted like the
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REVIEWS

Praise for Jack's New Power

“Extravagantly imaginative adventures . . . Combines side-splitting comedy with sweetly melancholic undertones.”  —Publishers Weekly

“Sharp humor.” —Booklist

“Jack’s voice is completely original.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“Jack Gantos has a way with boys, or a good memory for being one.”  —The New York Times Book Review

“Extravagantly imaginative adventures . . . Combines side-splitting comedy with sweetly melancholic undertones.”  —Publishers Weekly

“Sharp humor.” —Booklist

“Jack’s voice is completely original.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“Jack Gantos has a way with boys, or a good memory for being one.”  —The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jack Gantos

  • 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 born in Mount Pleasant, 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.

  • Jack Gantos
    Jack Gantos
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READING GUIDE

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Teacher's Guide
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Available Formats and Book Details

Jack's New Power

Stories from a Caribbean Year

Jack Henry

Jack Gantos

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Awar, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, NYPLC Children's Books 100
  • Trade Paperback

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  • e-Book

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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