Jackson Jones, Book 2: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken

Overview

You never know where your story will take you.

All Jackson had to do was clean the pool. One simple task. It would have been simple, anyway, if that freak storm hadn’t come from nowhere and carried him away. Now Jackson is trapped in the branches of a massive tree, and he can’t find a way out. While he wanders, he meets a flesh-eating hound named Muffin, a hen who wears too much makeup, a million angry squirrels, and a Troll with nose hair down to there. Before Jackson can go ...

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Overview

You never know where your story will take you.

All Jackson had to do was clean the pool. One simple task. It would have been simple, anyway, if that freak storm hadn’t come from nowhere and carried him away. Now Jackson is trapped in the branches of a massive tree, and he can’t find a way out. While he wanders, he meets a flesh-eating hound named Muffin, a hen who wears too much makeup, a million angry squirrels, and a Troll with nose hair down to there. Before Jackson can go home, he’ll have to discover the great task the Author has planned for him and learn what it really means to put down roots.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kelly steps out on a limb, sending the titular intrepid boy (who last got into his great-aunt’s hair, literally, in the series opener) into a tree, where he meets a social misfit of a troll (with nose hair) named Stimple, a squawky chicken named Miss Flaversham, many thousands of squirrels, and a creepy red-eyed rat, among other creatures. Jackson’s been blown away while cleaning the pool following a dustup with his little brother, and needs to find his way home (“In Which You Think This Is The Wizard of Oz, but It Isn’t,” a chapter title notes). Poor Jackson has to do that and teach his readers about the power of prayer in this unsettled mix of a book that has laugh-out-loud moments, stinky giggly ones, a bit of allegory (that rat is creepy for a reason), and clever illustrations. It also struggles a bit with its Christian apparatus of meaning. Kelly is an imaginative writer; here’s hoping her imagination, like her hero, continues to buck restraint. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310722946
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 987,378
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jenn Kelly lives in Ottawa, Canada, but her heart lives in Paris. Or Hawaii. She hasn’t decided yet. She is an undercover garden guru, painter, and chef, which has absolutely nothing to do with this book. She won a writing award in grade 4, failed English Lit in university, spent many years writing bad poetry, and then decided to write a book. This is it. She is married to her best friend, Danny, and is mom to a five-year-old boy and a dog who worries too much. She embraces the ridiculousness and disorganization of life.
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Read an Excerpt

Jackson Jones

The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken
By Jennifer Kelly

Zondervan

Copyright © 2011 Jennifer Kelly
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-72293-9


Chapter One

Which Is Extremely Stinky

Another bag of garbage.

Rotting, smelly, festering garbage. With holes in the bag. So it would leak.

And here he was, without a wheelbarrow. Or a donkey. Or a super cool, industrial four-wheeler.

So Stimple sighed again, hefted the rotting, smelly, festering garbage bag onto his back with a squashy splat, and began to pick his nose.

Chapter Two

Which Is an Absolute Tragedy (Prepare Your Handkerchiefs!)

Jackson was furious.

It was not fair.

It was not his fault.

He seethed as he stomped outside, pounding his feet as hard as he could against the kitchen floor, then slammed the door shut.

He growled as he walked over to the pool and picked up the net.

"Not my fault ... Why am I the one getting in trouble?" he muttered.

Jackson fumed as he remembered what had happened. He had run up the stairs to his room to grab his notebook because he had a great idea for a story. He opened his bedroom door and there was his little brother, giggling, sitting on the floor and clutching a magic marker. And Jackson's heart fell into his stomach.

His brother had doodled all over his notebook.

Jackson snatched the book from his hands, ignoring his brother's wails. "What are you doing?" he yelled.

Jackson opened the notebook.

Every single page was ruined.

Doodles and scribblings on every page. Cross-outs and thick lines, scratching out what Jackson had written.

His stories were ruined.

"You. are. such. a. BRAT!" Jackson screamed.

His little brother's bottom lip stuck out and his eyes filled with tears. His mouth opened wide as he inhaled loudly.

"Stop ..." Jackson began. But he was interrupted by the siren that came rushing out of his little brother's mouth. He turned and ran crying down the hallway to his mother's room. Jackson followed angrily, his ruined notebook in hand.

"He's only five. He doesn't really know what he's doing, Jackson," his mom said gently, holding his little brother on her lap.

"He ruined my stories!" Jackson spluttered.

"I know he did, and I'm very sorry for that. But you should have put your notebook away, where he couldn't find it. You need to keep things out of sight. You know how curious he is," his mother said.

Jackson turned and whipped his notebook across the room. It hit the wall with a THWACK and then slid to the floor. Jackson felt better. For a moment.

"I think you need to cool off before we finish talking," said Mrs. Jones. "You can cool off cleaning out the pool."

Chapter Three

In Which There Are Dragons. Sort of.

Jackson was in an extremely rotten mood. Such a rotten mood, in fact, that he didn't notice the way the sun glimmered off the water in the pool, the way the wind whistled through his hair, the songs the birds were singing ... No, wait. The birds weren't singing. That was odd.

But Jackson was in such a rotten mood that he didn't even notice that the birds were silent. He picked up the pool net, brandishing it like a shining sword that would slice right into a dragon's chest.

"Aha! Take that!" Jackson swung his mighty sword and slashed the dragon, splashing himself with pool water in the process.

He looked down at his grubby shorts and T-shirt, scowling. Then he laughed. Then scowled again. He was supposed to be in a rotten mood, after all. Jackson swirled the pool net in the water to remove fallen bits of twigs and leaves. A big black bug clung to the net. "Get off!" Jackson shook it.

And then he shivered, because all of a sudden the sun had disappeared behind a very big, very gray cloud. Better move faster. His ten-and-a-half-year-old arms pumped while he shoveled out more debris. (Debris is a fancy name for garbage.)

Ouch!

Jackson looked down at his arm. Something had stung him, but he didn't see anything.

Ouch! Jackson felt his head. Nothing there. But that hurt! Jackson backed up, looking around for wasps. No, there didn't seem to be any. But ... ouch! Jackson looked up to the sky and was hit right in the nose.

Hail!

Little round-ish balls of ice, some of them the size of marbles, zoomed down from the sky, smashing into the backyard and splashing into the pool. Jackson chucked the net, covered his head with his arms, and ran toward the shed. He peeked out the window and watched the hail fall.

What a strange day.

Jackson pressed his nose harder to the window, squeezed his eyes tight, and wondered if there was something different in the air.

But all he could smell was the dank smell of soil hanging in the air. (Dank means moist and wet. Not wet like your dog's nose, but like a gardening shed full of new soil.)

Hail was really coming down now. Loud thunks hit the roof and large plops splashed into the pool. Little white balls covered every surface. And then Jackson's eyes caught something that was most certainly not hail.

The patio umbrella was still set up beside the pool! The hail smashed against the purple-and-green-striped umbrella, threatening to tear the fabric. Jackson threw his weight against the door, struggling against the howling wind that pushed back against it. Finally,—finally—it creaked open and Jackson slipped out. He threw his hands over his face, trying to see through the falling miniature cannonballs.

No, they were like little blasts of fireballs. Mini fireballs blasting out of the dragon's mouth. He would have to fight through them! He had to save the village from this iniquitous beast! (Iniquitous means super-duper nasty.) Jackson recovered his pool net and sliced it through the air and let out an impressive battle cry.

"Aaaaaaah—OUCH!" A fireball hit him in the back. He ducked and dodged, narrowly avoiding the blazes of hot fire that would burn right through his armor. The wind pushed itself against him and his legs strained with the weight. But just as he grabbed the umbrella pole and reached up inside for the latch, a sharp burn pierced his leg. He was hit! But he had to go on. He had to continue—even if he died! He dropped his pool-net sword and fumbled with the latch. Bruises were popping up between his goose bumps. The wind pushed the umbrella up, threatening to pull it out of his hands. He gripped harder and clenched his teeth.

"You can do this!" he whispered fiercely to himself. "For honor! For glory! For the kingdom!" He forced his hand up and grasped the latch, giving it a yank.

It was stuck!

The wind snapped at Jackson's legs, trying to knock him over. His numb fingers squeezed the button and, at that very moment, a gust of wind blew so hard up into the umbrella that Jackson was lifted off the ground.

Jackson gripped the pole even tighter, and a strong north wind blew Jackson and the umbrella over onto the ground. He landed hard on his shoulder.

And just at that moment, just as Jackson sat back up, the wind picked up, filling the umbrella with air. Jackson's feet dragged along the ground, and then he was airborne.

He held tight, praying his weight would keep him from flying away.

But it didn't—Jackson was still scrawny—and he flew up into the sky.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Jackson Jones by Jennifer Kelly Copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Kelly . Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

1. Which Is Extremely Stinky....................13
2. Which Is an Absolute Tragedy (Prepare Your Handkerchiefs!)....................15
3. In Which There Are Dragons. Sort of....................17
4. In Which You Think This Is The Wizard of Oz, but It Isn't....................21
5. In Which We Find Out Where Jackson Is Going....................23
6. In Which We Have No Idea Where Jackson Is....................25
7. In Which There Is a Lot of Thwacking....................27
8. In Which Jackson Sees Something Most Unexpected....................33
9. In Which Stimple Does a Monkey Impression....................35
10. In Which Jackson Meets an Old Friend....................37
11. Which Begins Awkwardly, but Gets Better after That....................39
12. In Which Jackson Is Well-Prepared....................41
13. In Which Jackson Doesn't Get His Nap....................43
14. In Which Jackson Finds Himself in a Pickle....................45
15. A Very Proper Introduction....................47
16. There Are Absolutely No Eels, Kangaroos, or Rhinoceroses in This Chapter....................49
17. In Which It Is Detrimental to Have Food in Your Pockets (Detrimental Means Yes, You Just Might Die)....................51
18. In Which Jackson Is Discussed....................59
19. In Which Jackson Is Improved....................61
20. In Which Jackson Is Absolutely, Positively Perfect....................63
21. Which Is Full of Glee and Happiness....................65
22. A Very Strategic Chapter....................67
23. In Which Stimple Is Most Unhelpful....................69
24. In Which Jackson Is on His Own....................71
25. In Which You Might Experience a Bit of Déjà Vu (Which Means You've Totally Been Here Before)....................73
26. Which, We Must Admit, Is Not Very Exciting at First....................75
27. In Which We Hope that Jackson Is a Good Runner....................77
28. Which Is Not Particularly Long....................79
29. In Which We Learn a Lesson about Unpredictability....................81
30. In Which Jackson Has a Very Good Idea Indeed....................83
31. Which Is Simply Full of Tears and Boogers....................85
32. In Which Burt Shrieks a Lot. You'd Better Cover Your Ears....................87
33. In Which It's Time to Move Along....................91
34. A Chapter of Grouchy Proportions....................93
35. Yet Another Chapter....................95
36. Which Ends on a Cliffhanger....................97
37. In Which Jackson's Eyes Just about Bug Out of His Head....................99
38. In Which Stimple Comes to Jackson's Rescue (with Disastrous Results)....................101
39. In Which Jackson Misbehaves....................107
40. In Which an Argument Begins....................109
41. In Which Jackson Gets Egg on His Face....................111
42. In Which There Are Tigers. Well, Just One Tiger....................113
43. In Which Things Do Not Work Out as Planned....................115
44. In Which Jackson's Day Just Gets Worse....................117
45. In Which Miss Flaversham Laments the Lack of Good Servants These Days....................119
46. In Which Jackson Must Make a Decision....................125
47. Which Is Full of Possibility, but Ends on a Tragic Note....................127
48. Which Contains a Mystery....................129
49. In Which Jackson Learns the Importance of Conservation....................131
50. In Which Stimple Is Extremely Grouchy....................135
51. Which Is the Fifty-First Chapter....................137
52. In Which Jackson Learns about His Roots....................143
53. In Which We Get to the Bottom of It All....................147
54. In Which Jackson Hears an Ominous Sound (Ominous Means You'd Better Watch Out!)....................149
55. Which Is Not Particularly Long....................151
56. In Which Jackson Knows a Thing or Two about Knots....................153
57. Which Involves Neither a '66 Charger Nor a 371xp Husqvarna Chainsaw....................161
58. In Which Our Hero May Be Headed for Disaster....................163
59. In Which Jackson Makes a Very Silly Decision....................165
60. This Is Not Actually Chapter 60! It Is Just Pretending!....................167
60. The Real Chapter 60....................169
61. In Which Alfonso Is Not a Team Player....................171
62. In Which Jackson Is on His Own (Except for the Squirrels)....................173
63. In Which Necessity Is the Mother of Invention....................175
64. In Which the Squirrels Learn to Count to One Hundred....................177
65. In Which We Witness a Joyful Reunion....................179
66. Which Is Only Six Sentences Long....................181
67. Which Is a Little Bit Longer than the Last Chapter....................183
68. In Which Alfonso Finds a New Line of Work....................185
69. In Which There Is No Room in the Elevator....................189
70. In Which Jackson Gets Sick of Waiting....................191
71. In Which, It Must Be Admitted, Jackson Cries....................193
72. In Which Water Behaves Very Oddly (Part I)....................197
73. In Which Jackson Looks Down....................199
74. In Which Nothing Bad Happens....................201
75. In Which Something Awful Is Lurking....................203
76. Which Is Too Terrifying to Even Have a Title....................205
77. Which Has the Distinct Smell of Stimple....................209
78. In Which Our Hero Takes a Deep Breath....................213
79. In Which Our Hero Does Not Vomit. Not Quite....................215
80. In Which Water Behaves Very Oddly (Part II)....................217
81. In Which Jackson Is Understandably Annoyed....................219
82. In Which Jackson Experiences the Effects of Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream and Sprinkles....................221
83. At the Very Tip-Top....................223
84. In Which Our Hero Encounters a Most Unusual Tree....................225
85. In Which Stimple Makes a Monkey of Himself....................229
86. In Which Stimple Is Not Actually All that Scary....................233
87. Which Explains a Great Deal....................237
88. In Which Jackson Would Benefit from an Oven Mitt....................241
89. In Which the Road Leads Home....................243
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