OVERRIDE

Jack's Black Book

Jack Henry

Jack Gantos

Square Fish

From the Newbery Medal–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt,  the uproarious final volume of Jack Henry stories


According to his new motto—A WRITER’S JOB IS TO TURN HIS WORST EXPERIENCES INTO MONEY—Jack Gantos’s alter ego Jack Henry is going to be filty rich even before he gets out of junior high, for his life is filled with the worst experiences imaginable. For instance, in the course of the few months covered in this closing cycle of interlinked stories, Jack is humiliated by a gorgeous syncronized swimmer, gets a tattoo the size of an ant on his big toe, flubs an IQ test and nearly fails wood shop, and has to dig up his dead dog not once but twice. And that’s not the half of it!

 

At the close of this final book of semi-autobiographical stories, Jack may not end up rolling in dough, but he will prove once again “a survivor, an ‘everyboy’ whose world may be wacko but whose heart and spirit are eminently sane” (School Library Journal).

REVIEWS

Praise for Jack's Black Book

“These are the unsaid things that go on inside kids’ brains.” —Rosie, age 11

“Twisted, revolting, and hilarious.” —Randy Powell, author of Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking an Ashtray?

“I suggest you read this book.”  —Tristan, age 14

“The narrative sparkles with wit and . . . rings with the authenticity of adolescent humor, embarrassment, and fascination with the absolutely gross . . . Zany characters, good pacing, lots of humor, and a touch of romance make this a quick, fun read.” —School Library Journal

“Enough descriptive disaster to satisfy youngsters looking for a gross-out . . . Good solid writing, and a bizarre plot that even reluctant adults can't help but appreciate.”    —The Horn Book

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

OTHER GUIDES

Teacher's Guide
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Available Formats and Book Details

Jack's Black Book

Jack Henry

Jack Gantos

NYPL Books for the Teen Age
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Square Fish

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