Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff
Jack is a mischievous boy who lives out in the country with his parents and his sister, Annabella. Jack longs for adventure, especially when his dad tells him stories about his seven grandfathers slaying giants. Adventure arrives one day when giants come down from the sky and take most of Jack's town and Jack's father, leaving his family with very little food and winter on it's way. Jack's mom tells him to sell the family cow for money and as the old tale goes, Jack trades the cow for some magic beans. However, this beanstalk does not grow over night. It takes several days to grow and Jack knows it's ready to climb when dirt starts falling from the sky. He climbs the beanstalk and arrives in the land of giants which just happens to be the kingdom of King Barf (remember Rump - the king who loved gold?). Jack get taken by kind Martha, the king's cook where he meets Tom Thumb. Martha takes good care of Jack, but Jack is here to find his father not be a pet of a giant. Jack finally finds out that his dad is at the king's castle when his little sister, Annabella arrives. Jack, Annabella, and Tom Thumb embark on a mission to storm the castle and free Jack and Annabella's dad. Will they be able to defeat the giants?
If you love twisted fairy tales, this is a book for you. It has pixies, gnomes, giants, kings and magic. Liesl Shurtliff intertwined the story of Rump with Jack because as you read you will discover characters from that book (King Barf is still not nice!). While I don't remember a version Jack and the Beanstalk with Jack having sister, Annabella is a great character in the story. There is a great relationship with Jack and his dad in the book too. I liked the fact that Jack's dad was alive in this book instead of the original fairytale version where Jack is just alone with his mother. The addition of a whole family unit in the story is a nice touch. If you are a fan of the Grimm Sisters or Land of Stories, then this is a new series you should read. Next spring Liesl Shurtliff is releasing a new about Red Riding Hood. Let's see the perspective she puts to that story!