The Jack Tales

( 5 )


A collection of folk tales from the southern Appalachians that center on a single character, the irrepressible Jack. "Humor, freshness, colorful American background, and the use of one character as a central figure in the cycle mark these eighteen folktales, told here in the dialect of the mountain country of North Carolina." -- Booklist
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
$7.95 price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $4.03   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
The Jack Tales

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • 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 for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99 price
(Save 12%)$7.95 List Price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.


A collection of folk tales from the southern Appalachians that center on a single character, the irrepressible Jack. "Humor, freshness, colorful American background, and the use of one character as a central figure in the cycle mark these eighteen folktales, told here in the dialect of the mountain country of North Carolina." -- Booklist
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Grandparents can be great storytellers, too, and the aptly titled Grandfather Tales: American-English Folk Tales, edited by Richard Chase, illus. by Berkeley Williams Jr. (first published in 1948), collects folk stories and tall tales handed down for generations. Although many originated in England, they have taken on a distinct American flavor. Familiar backcountry characters include Sody Sallyraytus and Old Dry Frye. The Jack Tales: Folk Tales from the Southern Appalachians (1943), also edited by Chase, illus. by Williams, captures 18 folk tales about Jack, well known to children from Jack and the Beanstalk (here known as "Jack and the Bean Tree"). Williams's occasional pen-and-ink drawings add to the handsome package. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Humor, freshness, colorful American background, and the use of one character as a central figure in the cycle mark these eighteen folktales, told here in the dialect of the mountain country of North Carolina." Booklist, ALA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618346929
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/25/2003
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 327,541
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Chase collected The Jack Tales in the mountain country of North Carolina, where they have been handed down for generations. Everyone knows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. This book contains eighteen stories about Jack, many of them still completely new to the average reader. And what adventures Jack has! Noted American folklorist Richard Chase (1904–1988) has been called the man “most responsible for the renaissance of Appalachian storytelling.” A collector of tales that had been handed down from generation to generation in the Appalachian regions of the United States, Chase was born in Alabama and lived in the mountains of North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Jack in the Giants' Newground 1
Jack and the Bull 19
Jack and the Bean Tree 29
Jack and the Robbers 38
Jack and the North West Wind 46
Jack and the Varmints 58
Big Jack and Little Jack 67
Sop Doll! 76
Jack and the King's Girl 83
Fill, Bowl! Fill! 89
Hardy Hardhead 96
Old Fire Dragaman 106
Jack and the Doctor's Girl 114
Cat 'n Mouse! 127
Jack and King Marock 135
Jack's Hunting Trips 151
The Heifer Hide 161
Soldier Jack 172
Appendix and Parallels 181
Glossary 215
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & 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 & 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 & 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 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


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & 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 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 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    ¿The Jack Tales¿ is a combination of short stories that were pas

    “The Jack Tales” is a combination of short stories that were passed down by the descendants within the Council Harmon (1803-1896) family. They lived in the Beech Mountain area of North Carolina and the southern mountains. Three of the stories are known to have come from family in Wise County, Virginia. The tales were relayed to Richard Chase (1904-1988) who was best known for renaissance of Appalachian storytelling. Born in Alabama and raised in the mountains of North Carolina, he was known to have a style in which he would combine scholarly research to obtain the origins of the stories and in keeping with the tradition when editing them he ensured they were relayed as they would have been years ago, which was spontaneously. The stories are a collection that is unmatched in their message of Jack’s adventures usually told through his dreams. The author in this collection takes you on a journey with Jack, who is just an American boy living in and around the southern mountains of America. I learned the stories when I was challenged by a teacher to read something different. I have since found my very own copy and at least once a school season try and go sit and share the stories with children of all ages. Several of those that have sat through the reading have went out and gotten their own copy of the book. The stories are capable of reaching and motivating even those that find reading boring and time consuming.
    “Jack and the Beanstalk” is what comes to mind when you hear that the stories you will be hearing or reading because most parents and grandparents will tell their children or grandchildren the famous story of the boy who defeated the giant, as they tuck them into bed. The stories as told to Richard are one adventure after another and told through the dreams of Jack. Similar to the Br’er Rabbit or Spider Jamaican tales that were passed along in the African American culture the author makes a point to address the fact that the stories are the white equivalent of those figures in these European stories. Although “Jack and the Beanstalk” is a wonderful work of imaginary giant killing, it falls short on imagination when you compare them to the magical adventures that “The Jack Tales” and his many casts of characters will take you on. The stories are told to Richard by a descendent of Council Harmon, Mrs. Jane Gentry who was living at the time in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Reading the tales one can just imagine Mrs. Gentry sitting in a hand carved rocking chair on a creaking wooded run down porch with a million dollar view of the Appalachian Mountains as a back drop. The eighteen stories are all about Jack and life as he conquers giants with one, two, three, and four heads. In his quest each one so very different then the last, he meets and stands his ground with witches…, kings, magic bulls, and beautiful maidens in need of rescue.
    Horn Book described the stories as, “Meat for the student of folklore as well as for the lover of tall tales.” There are a variety of cast that make the tales intriguing even beyond the tales that Jack is sharing with the readers. Naturally there are those in the mountains that hear of Jack adventures and say that they are the dreams and tall tales told by a boy without any real truth to them. Richard Chase will take you on the mountain where Jack ruled in his time and conquered the worst of evil and left a path of magical villains defeated through the skills and wit of Jack.
    You will meet people like, Will and Tom in “Hardy Hardhead” as they fill a magical flying boat with such characters as, “Eatwell, Drinkwell, Runwell, Harkwell, and Seewell,” all in an attempt to save a beautiful maiden being held captive by an old witch, who will only release her if the suitor can complete certain tasks. Failure to succeed in successfully completing the challenge usually results in death.
    The stories are suitable for kids of all ages and I am sure that adults that wish they could go back and capture the time in your life when reading was not always about that one plot and one action scene. The author use a cycle form of storytelling, where all the tales are exciting as they escape to adventures beyond reality but always begin and end with Jack being a normal farmer in plain everyday commonplace farms.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2008

    Great for reading to Grandchildren!

    My son loved this book & so do my grandchildren. If I read to them at bedtime, I find them reading it the next day. A classic.

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

    Posted October 17, 2001

    this book is very good

    i like this book a lot it is one of my favorite books

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

    Posted May 6, 2000

    Southern living never looked so good!

    I was twelve years old when I originally read this book as a school assignment four years ago, and it has left an indellible mark on me and my love of down-home Southern literature. This enthralling volume will win over any reader with Jack, the main character's colorful adventures, and unforgettable characters. This precocious, young boy lands in so many amusing situations, whether it be hot persuit of wild animals on the run, or getting entangled with a group of shady bandits. His escapades will keep anyone laughing right up to the last page! So sit yourself down, city boy and city gal, and enjoy a heapin' helpin' of The Jack Tales!

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

    Posted June 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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