From the Newbery Medal–winning author of Dead End in Norvelt, eight side-splitting stories about a boy who is doing his best to keep his head above water
As the Henry family sets sail for a new life on Cape Hatteras, fourth-grader Jack is struggling to chart a course between his parents' contradictory advice on making friends and influencing people. Just tell people what they want to hear, Dad advises. Just tell the truth, Mom cautions. Jack finds there are no easy answers as he drifts through his crazy school year, falling desperately in love with his young teacher, getting suckered into becoming a bad-behavior spy for the principal, and being forced to make a presentable pet out of a duck with backward feet. Indeed, with an airheaded, air-guitar-playing neighbor the closest thing to a friend, and a judgmental older sister his relentless enemy, it's all he can do to stay afloat.
This colorful and comic new collection of interrelated stories featuring the author's hapless alter ego is the first of five books in the Jack Henry series, praised by Booklist for their "hilarious, exquisitely painful, and utterly on-target depiction" of a boy's life.
This title has Common Core connections.
Jack Gantos continues the Jack Henry Books (Jack on the Tracks; Heads or Tails) with Jack Adrift: Fourth Grade Without a Clue. Jack's father rejoins the Navy and the family relocates from their home just south of Pittsburgh, Pa., to Cape Hatteras, N.C. On the car ride south, Jack solicits advice from his parents on how to make friends, and their contradictory advice ("Tell what they want to hear," says Dad; "Always be yourself," Mom says) sets the stage for a series of conflicts for the nine-year-old, who develops a crush on his teacher, and reluctantly winds up a stool pigeon for the principal.