Spring Heeled-Jack by Philip Pullman

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Spring Heeled-Jack by Philip Pullman

Pullman, Philip. Spring Heeled-Jack. Yearling, 2004 ISBN 978-0440418818 112 pp. $

****

If ever a book was created for a child with ADD, this is it. In a mix of narrative and comic book panels, three orphans escape from an orphanage intending to purchase tickets to America. When young Ned is kidnapped, a legendary British superhero comes to their aid: Spring Heeled Jack, a trickster type.

Quotes from famous authors, like Hugo and Dickens, preface each chapter, with a variation of the quote becoming the opening line. This device takes an amusing turn when Pullman quotes himself, and the first line of the book. Footnotes abound, and a silly pseudo-French menu lends humor.

The nineteenth century melodramatic tones and orphan adventure will bring Lemon Snicket to mind; perhaps the popularity of the Baudelaire twins adventures is the reason for the reissue. Whatever the reason, Pullman delivers his trademark combination of child heroes embarking on an adventure spiced with a bit of mystery. This fun fast-paced romp is a great intro to the graphic novel format for younger readers.

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