#1002 – Jack Death by M. L. Windsor

cover2 Jack Death
Series: Jack Death, Book 1
Written by M. L. Windsor
Illustrated by Chris Ewald
Creston Books 9/01/2016
165 pages Ages 8—12

“JACK is an ORDINARY BOY . . .

“Nadine is a perfectly normal girl except that her Mother is—oh well, that’s a Secret and not to be carelessly revealed on the back cover of a book. The important this is that together, these two incredibly average children discover the lemon-headed villain behind the destruction of the Magical Creature Reserve and piece together his plot to divide the Golden and Black Bloods. They may even save a few lives.” [INSIDE JACKET]

Jack experienced a horrible day at school today. Sure, most of his days are horrible, but today was the worst day possible. Urkel, the school bully, vowed to get Jack at lunch, but instead of Jack, Jack’s friend Booger was attacked and fell. A troll from the Magical Creature Reserve—Urkel’s father guards the gates—entered the school and, in three, sloppy gulps devoured Booger as Urkel watched. Jack saw Death’s Reaper enter the cafeteria with his sharpened scythe but could not help Booger.
jackdeathinteriorHow did a troll get past the high walls of the Magical Creature Reserve? Jack is determined to find out. Late tonight Jack snuck out—still in his pajammies—and headed to the Magical Creature Reserve. As he walks, Jack is not alone. Neighbor Nadine catches up and insists she be Jack’s assistant. They make it inside the reserve only to hear one of the vilest plans of attack against the village and its entire people. Jack must warn everyone. He must also keep a family secret safe. Nadine insists on helping Jack, though she also has a deep family secret that can never see the light of day. Will Jack and Nadine succeed, keep everyone safe, their secrets secure, and capture the villains? This is an awful lot to expect of two middle grade students.

Jack Death is a new middle grade novel from a new voice—a strange, compelling voice that will have you on the edge of your seat crying and laughing or laughing but not crying. Who this narrator? And why is he following Jack? Whoever he (or she?) is, they have the quirkiest voice in middle grade right now. The narrator knows more about Jack than Jack himself does. Charged with both Jack’s story and his safety, keeps he, she, or it very invested. The narrator is only one of many unanswered questions, perfect for a first book in a serial story—if this is a series. I certainly hope Jack Death is but book one of a three or four book series. Any mystery, which can capture the imaginations of both middle grade readers and reluctant readers, is a series needed in the genre.
jackdeathinteior2The premise is original and creative. The villains are just who readers of these tales enjoy seeing toppled. But the toppling is a slow process. I love the secrets Jack and Nadine must keep, though Nadine’s is less plausible than Jack’s is. The reading is fast-paced with short chapters and quirky characters. Reluctant readers will enjoy this aspect of Jack Death. They will also enjoy Professor Blunderbunn, a most peculiar character, if not the quirkiest in the story. Blunderbunn is the reluctant hero to Jack’s cause, but who is he?

Jack Death will grip kids quickly. The hook will grab hold of kids on the first page and they will not be able to put the story down until . . . the end of the book, of course. The ending to Jack Death can only be satisfying IF there is another story on the way. There is so much yet to tell. Nadine’s secret eventually shows itself, but Jack’s . . . we only hear about it. Without Jack confronting this secret, his story is incomplete.

One note for concerned parents: Death occurs frequently in Jack Death, but there are no gruesome scenes or nightmarish situations. Driving up and down the curving mountain road is more dangerous and scary than any other scene. Additionally, knowing Why you need a car accident lawyer in Vancouver is essential especially for the drivers so that they can get compensation when an accident occurs. Kids should not have any nightmares or horrible dreams after reading Jack Death, which is actually a quite thrilling bedtime story.

Jack Death is M. L. Windsor’s debut.

JACK DEATH. Text copyright © 2016 by M. L. Windsor. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Chris Ewald. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Creston Books, Berkeley, CA.

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Add Jack Death Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Reprinted with permission from JACK DEATH © 2016 by M. L. Windsor, Creston Books, Illustrations © 2016 by Chris Ewald.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Jack Death
Series: Jack Death, Book 1
Written by M. L. Windsor
Illustrated by Chris Ewald
Creston Books 9/01/2016


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