Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 119

Mighty Jack

by Ben Hatke (writer, artist), Hillary Sycamore (colorist), and Alex Campbell (colorist)
208 pages
Genre notes: adventure, adaptation
ISBN: 1626722641 (Amazon)

One of my favourite books to recommend younger readers (from Kindergarten to about fourth or fifth grade) is Ben Hatke's Zita the Space Girl. It's a buoyant story about a plucky, wonderful, and sometimes not very kind little girl who gets sucked into a tremendous space adventure. Hatke wrapped the trilogy a few years back and I've been waiting for his next major work since then. He's switched things up a bit, doing a couple picture books and a shorter graphic novel (Little Robot) that's probably aimed at readers a little younger than Zita was. This year though, he brought us Mighty Jack, a sort of riff on Jack And The Bean Stalk. And you know what? It's better than Zita.

Mighty Jack proves that practice can make you better at what you do. Really, we already saw this at work with Hatke, since each volume of Zita was more accomplished than the one before. Mighty Jack is well-paced and more lithe. It's a fun and dangerous adventure, aimed probably at the same range as Zita, maybe a touch older. My only regret is that this first vol ends on a cliffhanger when all I really want is to plow through to the end. And yeah, I say the book is aimed at young readers, but despite the fact that my kids love it, I'm the one who is salivating to find out What Happens Next.

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