Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade (Jack Henry Series #2)

( 13 )

Overview

Inspired by the author's childhood diaries, this new collection of Jack Henry stories depicts a fifth-grade year to end all fifth-grade years. Living in a Miami rental home with a busy railroad track running a stone's throw from the backyard, the author's alter ego is plagued by a know-it-all older sister, a bizarre Francophile teacher, a series of crazed cats, a slightly off-kilter father, a tapeworm, and a pair of escaped convicts--to name just a few of his antagonists. But for Jack Henry, hailed by School ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (56) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $1.99   
  • Used (46) from $1.99   
Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade (Jack Henry Series #2)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$5.70
BN.com price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.

Overview

Inspired by the author's childhood diaries, this new collection of Jack Henry stories depicts a fifth-grade year to end all fifth-grade years. Living in a Miami rental home with a busy railroad track running a stone's throw from the backyard, the author's alter ego is plagued by a know-it-all older sister, a bizarre Francophile teacher, a series of crazed cats, a slightly off-kilter father, a tapeworm, and a pair of escaped convicts--to name just a few of his antagonists. But for Jack Henry, hailed by School Library Journal as "an 'everyboy' whose world may be wacko but whose heart and spirit are eminently sane," no matter how rough the ride, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

After moving with his unbearable sister to Miami, Florida, Jack tries to break some of his bad habits but finds himself irresistibly drawn to things disgusting, gross, and weird.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Dean Schneider
Jack Henry's back in a laugh-out-loud read inhabited by killer cats, giant tapeworms, and escaped convicts. This latest installment of Jack's saga, which relates the events of Jack's fifth-grade year, is full of scenes you can't resist reading aloud to anyone willing to listen (such as the one in which Jack feeds his sister a giant cockroach named Zippy, or watches his father gorge himself on a seventy-two ounce steak shaped like the United States, or finds himself locked out of his house wearing nothing but his best friend's mother's underwear). And if several scenes offend readers who don't share Jack's fascination with the rude and gross, that's okay; Jack's parents, teacher, and sister are on hand to teach jack good manners and judgement and to help him grow up, or at least to keep him from being a complete moron. As in the previous three jack Henry book (Heads or Tails, Jack's New Power, and Jack's Black Book), to which Jack on the Tracks is a prequel, Jack keeps a journal. However, in this novel, the journal seems more extraneous, something Jack only mentions now and then. This book will appeal to the many fans of the Jack Henry series, and it can provide inspiration to young writers who will see how Gantos mined his own early school years for stories to embellish.
Horn Book Magazine
Publishers Weekly
Gantos draws inspiration from his own childhood diaries in the fourth collection of stories about Jack Henry. In these nine tales, his aggravations include his annoying older sister, some crazy cats, a tapeworm and a pair of escaped convicts. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)n Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Betty Hicks
Yes! Jack is back--and as funny as ever. Based on the author's own childhood journals, this fourth book of Jack Henry stories is as hilarious as the first three. Be prepared for Jack telling tales of eating tapeworms, dropping cockroaches in his sister's mouth, and suffering through the unlucky deaths of multiple cats. Jack is cursed with the selected wisdom peculiar to fifth-grade boys--don't open the door to strangers, but do hop on a homemade water ski pulled by a car in a lightning storm. While Gantos comically salutes the sometimes gross and reckless nature of boys in tasteless ways that kids will love, he also weaves genuine insight and sensitivity into the larger, unspoken concerns that inhabit every child's head. Jack is trying hard to be responsible, to convince his older sister that he's mature, and to show his teacher that there's more to boys than snakes and snails. He fails miserably, of course, but his trying will warm readers' hearts (while turning their stomachs and attacking their funny bones).
VOYA
In the fifth installment of Gantos's semiautobiographical series, Jack Henry and his family are in Miami, where Jack's dad plans to start another new job. As in previous Jack books, Gantos creates a world surrounding the Henry family, a culture with its own tall tales (Jack's father's stories are innocently offcolor but hilarious), heroes, and enemies (Jack's sister Betsy is the cleverest and the most conniving of nemeses). A fuzzylipped francophile, a psychotic security guard neighbor, and a welcomecatwielding best friend round out the cast of characters in this overthetop memoir. Told in vignette form, each chapter of Jack on the Tracks is prefaced with illustrations and text that appear to be excerpted from Jack's diary. The line drawings and snippets of handwritten text are titillating, although the text is not necessarily repeated verbatim within the chapter. Firstperson narration is tinged with the tentative sarcasm of the burgeoning wisenheimer; Jack Henry's escapades are delivered wideeyed, and tongue in cheek with not overdone hyperbole. A "boy book" with bothsex appeal, Jack includes justgrossenough humor to prompt both giggles and grimaces. Throughout the book, Gantos describes the genuine sentiments of the young Jack, who questions both his sensitivity and his inexplicable fascination with what he calls "gross, filthy, disgusting things." Though Jack ends a bit abruptly, Gantos hints at more to come. Jack Henry will be back. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 1999, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Ages 12 to 15, 192p, $16.Reviewer:Amy S. Pattee
Kirkus Reviews
Jack's back (Jack's Black Book, 1997, etc.) and wacko enough to water ski on land, feed his sleeping sister a cockroach, and bring about the unfortunate demise of three pet cats. Gantos's hyperactive rewriting of his own diaries zips Jack through fifth grade and a barrage of overlapping adventures. Like the steel sphere in a pinball game, Jack bounces around between his older sister's insults, his parents admonishments, and his friend Tack's dares. None of this is for the weak of heart or the gullible; between picking a hookworm (his "secret pet") out of his arm and lying in a hole with a screaming locomotive passing overhead, Jack is no role model, but he is real. His battles with his emotions—why he cries all the time, why he is "more interested in gross things than in beautiful things"—and his struggles to do what he deems right and adult (instead of wrong and childish) ring true. Have readers fasten their seat belts for this one, or—for a real jolt of Jack—don't. (Fiction. 10-12)
From the Publisher
“Jack . . . returns here in an account of the year . . . when his family first moves to Florida . . . His struggle for maturation is enhanced by Gantos’s effervescent writing style and grasp of the gross and horrifying . . . This will reel kids right in.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“A laugh-out-loud read inhabited by killer cats, giant tapeworms, and escaped convicts.” —The Horn Book

 

“Hilarious, exquisitely painful, and utterly on-target.” —Booklist

 

“Poignant, funny, and real.” —School Library Journal

 

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374437176
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 9/12/2001
  • Series: Jack Henry Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 314,590
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Jack was born in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack’s writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister’s diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers’ lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.

While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack’s career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children’s books and began to teach courses in children’s book writing and children’s literature. He developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children’s book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Awesome! Also read dead end in Norvelt. :)

    This is one of the best book I have read and probably will read.
    XD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2006

    great book

    i loved this book so much

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2006

    Tracks is wonderful

    I picked up this book a few weeks ago and i loved this book. Its a wonderful book with a twist of comedy. It shows the ups and downs of life and is very enjoyable!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2003

    Hilarious book

    this is the most funniest book i have ever read it is about a boy named jack who loses every cat in freak accidents.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    Stupid

    Ase hole book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

    The book kept my interest and it was exciting. - you must check it out!

    If you are looking for a book that has a life of a unique fifth grader, than Jack on the Track by Jack Gantos is deffinately the book for you! Have you ever moved to a whole new town and started a new life, well Jack Henry jr. has. Jack Henry jr. has to move to Miami in a rental home, so this means that Jack has to start a new different life with new friends and a new teacher.Jack moves in down the road from a boy named Tack, who eventually becomes best friends with Jack. In Jack's new life he has a new weird french speaking teacher who didnt like his paper on a tapeworm. Then as usual he has a sister who gets revenge on whatever Jack does to her,and he has a little brother who pesters him. Throughout the whole book Jack learns not to lie to get his way and the most important thing is he faces trying to grow up and face his fears in life. Do you want to know why the book is called Jack on the Tracks? Does Jack have the courage to face his fears? If you want to figure these questions out you will have to read the book to find out! What I liked best about the book was that it was about Jacks journeys through his new fifth grade life. I would recommend this book to ages 9-12 who like reading books about fifth graders journeys. THE BOOK WAS GREAT READ IT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2002

    The Best Book You Can Buy!

    Jack is a hillarious fifth-grader with a BIG imagination! This book is great for ANYONE! With characters like Miss Kitty, Sunny Winterbottom, Tack, and a neighbor who is 'Gleefully preparing for the end of the world' You can't go wrong! And don't forget his family: a father who tries hard not to let Jack be a 'insane fluffball' and a bratty sister. It's a great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)