Jaclyn and the Beanstalk

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Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn has always lived a relatively quiet life, helping her parents take care of their land and grow food…and learning to use a sword, just in case. Her father, who once fought for the king, is passing his skills on to her, but when he learns of monsters attacking in the countryside, he goes out to fight them. Unbeknownst to him, Jaclyn sneaks along, so she alone knows when the monsters take him captive. Now it’s up to Jaclyn to rescue him, armed with a sword from his secret cache and some mysterious beans given to her by an old woman. When she arrives at Black Mountain, she discovers the truth of the beans, as one sprouts literally beneath her, into a towering beanstalk. Can she rescue her father and get rid of the monsters for good?

Readers will enjoy this retelling of the classic fairy tale, now starring a strong female protagonist. The story is interesting overall, although it eventually delves into a bit of a biblical narrative, which was unexpected and maybe off-putting to some. Jaclyn is an interestingly self-possessed character, with a strong sense of morality and an intense need to do what’s right, even to her own detriment. I do wish the character Jack had been introduced and explained in better detail, as he seems to mostly come out of nowhere, and the romance between them is so sudden that it falls a bit flat. Still, overall, this was a good story and a unique tale in its own right.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 275 pages
Publisher Vesuvian Books
Publish Date 2018-Sep-04
ISBN 9781944109745
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Young Adult


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