by Ben Hatke
Published by: 1st Second
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Graphic Novel - Children's
Source: purchased book
Book blurb from Amazon, but here is the author's website just for good measure:
Jack might be the only kid in the world who's dreading summer. But he's got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It's a lot of responsibility, and it's boring, too, because Maddy doesn't talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom's car for a box of mysterious seeds. It's the best mistake Jack has ever made.
What starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything…a dragon.
The first thing I have to say is AARRRGGHHHHHH!!!!! Cliffhanger!!!! You are now forewarned.
This is a fairly challenging book. Things are not simple and you find yourself both in sympathy with the characters at the same time you are questioning their motivations. Definitely the sort of story that is worth a re-read or two, or more. There is a magic garden, turns out that it isn't all fun and fairly quickly Jack and Maddy are in over their heads.
If you are a fan of the Zita the Spacegirl books, you will need to read this book, there will be some familiar faces and you are going to wonder just what the heck they are up to and where this fits in the universal timeline.
This bit is from the authors website:
"1. It's a graphic novel! (Or whatever we call comic books these days). It's a modern kinda-sorta retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk story featuring a boy named Jack, his little sister Maddy, and a wild homeschooled girl from down the road named Lilly. The three kids plant a whole gardens worth of strange seeds from a local flea market, and the plants that rise up from the seeds are clearly not from this world. Adventures ensue.I wish I had seen #2 earlier, it would possibly have spared me the embarrassment of yelling "AARRRGGHHHHHH!" out loud at a restaurant.
2. It's only the first part of a two-book story! I feel it's very important to warn you, my readers, that this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Or, at least, it ends on an unresolved dramatic moment. which is, okay, the same thing as a cliffhanger. The second book (which is almost finished!) will be out next year at this time."
Anyhow - thumbs up and now I have to wait patiently for part two!