Spring-Heeled Jack

Overview

Spring-Heeled Jack: The name evoked awe from both criminals and upstanding citizens alike. Some thought he was the devil, but he was actually the original superhero—leaping over the buildings of Victorian England with the help of springs in the heels of his shoes.

The story begins as three young innocents escape their orphanage one dark and stormy night. As they make their ...
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Overview

Spring-Heeled Jack: The name evoked awe from both criminals and upstanding citizens alike. Some thought he was the devil, but he was actually the original superhero—leaping over the buildings of Victorian England with the help of springs in the heels of his shoes.

The story begins as three young innocents escape their orphanage one dark and stormy night. As they make their way through the treacherous streets of London danger lurks, for hiding in the shadows is Mack the
Knife, the most villainous of villains. Enter
Spring-Heeled Jack, the springiest of heroes. But will Jack's powers be enough to save
the orphans?

Originally published in paperback, Spring-Heeled Jack is back—now as a hardcover with eye-catching new jacket art.

Three children make their escape from a London orphanage and after a series of misadventures are reunited with their father through the efforts of the legendary Spring-Heeled Jack.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
An orphan's tale is often used as fodder for a good story, and author Philip Pullman and illustrator David Mostyn bring the adventures of three runaway orphans to light with exceptional humor, drama, and wit. Following Rose, Lily, and little Ned as they make their way through the streets of London, readers soon discover that villains lurk in the streets. Who is to look out for these helpless kids? Why, Spring-Heeled Jack, of course! The caped crusader prides himself on sporty shoes with springs that let him jump in leaps and bounds. Featuring Pullman's thrilling plotline and comic-book illustrations that stand on their own, Spring-Heeled Jack is a exciting and excellent read for both reluctant readers and established Pullman fans.
Kathleen Odean
Humor and melodrama prevail in this jaunty illustrated novel from the Whitbread Prize–winning author of The Amber Spyglass. Set in Victorian England, the fast-moving tale features an old-fashioned superhero, Spring-Heeled Jack, who dresses like the devil but acts like an angel, saving the helpless from evildoers. Each page integrates comic-strip panels and text, adding a strong visual appeal and emphasizing the saucy humor.
Publishers Weekly
In Victorian London, three children escape an orphanage only to fall into the clutches of Mack the Knife. "Part narrative, part comic strip, this waggish, innovative story of a courageous trio is sure to engage even the most reluctant reader," wrote PW. Ages 8-12. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Cheer the heroes and jeer the villains in this tongue-in-cheek adventure yarn about 3 innocent children who have escaped from an orphanage run by Mr. Killjoy and Miss Gasket. Danger lurks in every alleyway but our hero is ever ready to spring into action. A great cast of characters headed by the evil Mack-the-Knife. Using a mixture of cartoons and regular text, this is sure to appeal to kids who are afraid to tackle regular chapter books. Great fun!
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- The author of Ruby in the Smoke (Knopf, 1987) again pulls readers back to Victorian London for a tale of dark deeds and bright courage, aimed this time at a younger audience. Rose, Lily, and little Ned escape the Alderman Cawn-Plaster Memorial Orphanage one night, hoping to board ship and make a new life in America--but they don't reckon on running into cutthroat Mack the Knife and his evil band, or being so hotly pursued by the orphanage's nefarious supervisors, Gasket and Killjoy. With help from a good-hearted sailor, a small but fierce stray dog, and especially from Spring-Heeled Jack, a menacing caped figure in tights, tophat, and trick shoes that let him jump over tall buildings in a single bound, the brave children win their way to safety, and even find--O Joy!--their long-lost father. Pullman's prose is appropriately melodramatic, and breaks frequently into Mad Magazine -style cartoon panels, with dialogue in square balloons and small creatures at the edges making asides. The author and illustrator obviously had great fun with this funny, action-packed send-up, and so will readers. --John Peters, New York Public Library
From the Publisher
“Hilarious, neatly plotted, and thoroughly appealing.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“The author and illustrator obviously had great fun with this funny, action-packed send-up, and so will readers.”—School Library Journal, Starred

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375916014
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/9/2002
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip  Pullman

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England and was brought up in Rhodesia, Australia, London and Wales. Philip graduated from Oxford University in 1973 with a degree in English, and has taught middle school at Westminter College. He is the author of many highly-acclaimed books for young readers, from contemporary fiction to Victorian thrillers, and has written plays and picture books for readers of all ages. Philip's most recent work, The Amber Spyglass, has won numerous awards, including the Parent's Choice Gold Book Award, and a Booklist Editors' Choice.

Philip currently lives in Oxford with his wife, Judith, and children.

Good To Know

Interesting facts about Philip Pullman and his books:
  • The Amber Spyglass was the first children's book to be named the Whitbread Book of the Year.

  • Among the other awards Pullman has received are Britain's prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (a sort of Nobel Prize for children's literature) honoring his entire body of work.

  • Pullman enjoys playing the piano. "I'd like to play it well," he quips on his website. "But I can't, so the rest of the family has to put up with my playing it badly."

  • Pullman persuaded his publisher to let him illustrate the first two books of His Dark Materials with small, symbolic pen and ink drawings at the start of each chapter. Although these illustrations were left out of first editions in the U.S., they have been included in later editions. The third book of the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass does not have illustrations, but chapters begin with quotations from some of Pullman's favorite writers, like John Milton, William Blake, and Emily Dickinson.

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      1. Hometown:
        Oxford, England
      1. Date of Birth:
        October 19, 1946
      2. Place of Birth:
        Norwich, England
      1. Education:
        Exeter College, Oxford University
      2. Website:

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