Hey Guys! I want you to close your eyes for a second and remember what it was like to go to the library in elementary school. What color books did you pick out? Do you remember your favorite characters names? Did you have a favorite librarian?
The Legend of Jack Riddle is a fresh take on books that you probably half-way remember borrowing on your first library card. The plot is just as teeming with life as the cover. It manages to blend and reinvent dozens of old fairytales. With a single word, Easson can twist the stories of Ariel and Hansel into something inventive and hilarious.
When Jack Riddle is sent, much to his chagrin, to his mysterious aunt’s house, he finds out a lot more about her than he’d wanted. After following her into the forest he had been forbidden to touch, he finds his aunt disappearing into a tree trunk. She was supposed to be at bingo night…
He finds her in a mysterious meeting of witches. Oh, and she has a second head. Jack narrowly escapes before he is seen, and the next day is sent home with a mysterious jar. When a chocolate-loving goblin crawls out of the jar, Jack finds out he is his aunt’s next victim and that her real name is Gretel, the witch.
Along with his bumbling history professor, Jack embarks on a quest to beat his fate before it is too late. He has to go on a quest to find the missing elements of the prophecy that will beat Gretel, along the way encountering mismatched and mistold fairytales. Ariel the cat, Ambrosius the history professor, Smash the goblin, and Jack are a mismatched group of heroes never imagined before.
The Legend of Jack Riddle is wholesome fun. I know for certain, after reconnecting for a second with my old pre-e-book library self, that I would have loved this book as a child.
There is an inherent riotous beauty in children’s literature. The simplicity of the language gives way to broad and imaginative plots, that disappear from teen and adult minds so easily. These are truly some of the funniest and sweetest books out there. Children’s lit ultimately doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is carefree and, at the same time, invigorating.
I encourage you to reconnect with that old self. Re-explore those libraries. Remember those books, even if that just means looking up the full title and character names. You can get the book on sale here! The Legend of Jack Riddle (Capstone Young Readers)
And, as always,