The Mostly True Story of Jack

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Newbery Medal-winner Kelly Barnhill's debut novel is an eerie tale of magic, friendship, and sacrifice.

Enter a world where magic bubbles just below the surface. . . .

When Jack is sent to Hazelwood, Iowa, to live with his strange aunt and uncle, he expects a summer of boredom. Little does he know that the people of Hazelwood have been waiting for him for quite a long time. When he arrives, he begins to make actual friends for the first time in his life-but the town bully beats him up and the richest man in town begins to plot Jack's imminent, and hopefully painful, demise. It's up to Jack to figure out why suddenly everyone cares so much about him. Back home he was practically... invisible.

The Mostly True Story of Jack is a stunning debut novel about things broken, things put back together, and finding a place to belong.

"There's a dry wit and playfulness to Barnhill's writing that recalls Lemony Snicket and Blue Balliett...a delightfully unusual gem." --Los Angeles Times
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About the author

Kelly Barnhill is a children's book author. Her novels include The Mostly True Story of Jack, Iron Hearted Violet, The Witch's Boy, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon, which received the 2017 John Newbery Medal. She has also received the World Fantasy Award, the Parents Choice Gold Award, the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet award, and a Charlotte Huck Honor.

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Reviews

3.3
28 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Published on
Aug 2, 2011
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780316175234
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Juvenile Fiction / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
Juvenile Fiction / Family / General
Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Kelly Barnhill
Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal
The New York Times Bestseller

An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016
Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016
2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Choice

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.
Claude Lalumière
The second volume in the ground-breaking, genre-bending, boundary-pushing Clockwork Phoenix anthology series, now available in digital format.

Includes critically-acclaimed and award-nominated stories by Claude Lalumière, Leah Bobet, Marie Brennan, Ian McHugh, Ann Leckie, Mary Robinette Kowal, Saladin Ahmed, Tanith Lee, Joanna Galbraith, Catherynne M. Valente, Forrest Aguirre, Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, Kelly Barnhill, Barbara Krasnoff and Steve Rasnic Tem.

With a whimsical introduction and new afterword by Nebula Award-nominated editor Mike Allen.

"Sixteen unique voices that manage nevertheless to harmonize into a sort of choir of the uncanny singing in the key of beauty and strangeness ... Mike Allen has conducted it masterfully. I highly recommend it, and look forward with great anticipation to CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3."
— SF Site

CONTENTS

Three Friends • Claude Lalumière
Six • Leah Bobet
Once a Goddess • Marie Brennan
Angel Dust • Ian McHugh
The Endangered Camp • Ann Leckie
At the Edge of Dying • Mary Robinette Kowal
Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela • Saladin Ahmed
The Pain of Glass: A Tale of the Flat Earth • Tanith Lee
The Fish of Al-Kawthar's Fountain • Joanna Galbraith
The Secret History of Mirrors • Catherynne M. Valente
Never nor Ever • Forrest Aguirre
each thing i show you is a piece of my death • Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer
Open the Door and the Light Pours Through • Kelly Barnhill
Rosemary, That's For Remembrance • Barbara Krasnoff
When We Moved On • Steve Rasnic Tem 

Praise for CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 2 . . . .

Allen finds his groove for this second annual anthology of weird stories, selecting 16 wonderfully evocative, well-written tales. Marie Brennan’s thought-provoking “Once a Goddess” considers the fate of a goddess abruptly returned to mortality. Tanith Lee puts a stunning twist in the story of a morose prince in “The Pain of Glass.” Mary Robinette Kowal’s “At the Edge of Dying” describes a world where magic comes only to those at death’s door. In “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela,” Saladin Ahmed tells of a small village on the edge of a desert, a hermit and a woman who may be a witch. Each story fits neatly alongside the next, and the diversity of topics, perspectives and authors makes this cosmopolitan anthology a winner.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

In this anthology of 15 original tales by some of fantasy’s most imaginative voices, Tanith Lee returns to her remarkable Flat Earth setting for a poignant and cutting tale of love, fate, and misfortune in “The Pain of Glass.” Other contributors include veteran and newer writers Forrest Aguirre, Steve Rasnic Tem, Joanna Galbraith, Saladin Ahmed, and others, each chosen for their unique perspective and stylistic grace. VERDICT: This second volume in a new annual anthology series will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy short stories.
— Library Journal

CLOCKWORK PHOENIX is the most experimental and often the most interesting of the impressive stable of four anthologies published by Norilana. The second outing has a lot of strong work, including a nice ultra-romantic tale of a woman of glass by Tanith Lee (“The Pain of Glass”), a moving fairly traditional ghost story from Kelly Barnhill (“Open the Door and the Light Pours Through”), and a story I frankly didn’t think I’d like, but which seduced me, Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer’s “each thing i show you is a piece of my death,” about experimental film makers creating a sort of collage film, including what seems a very old clip of a man committing suicide. It’s queasy-making, odd, yet compelling. My favorite story is Ann Leckie’s “The Endangered Camp,” which she says resulted from a sort of challenge to combine dinosaurs, post-apocalyptic fiction, and Mars — and does so beautifully as the crew of the first spaceship to Mars witnesses the asteroid striking Earth and wonders what to do.
— Locus 


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