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The Thief and the Beanstalk (Further Tales Adventure Series)

The Thief and the Beanstalk (Further Tales Adventure Series)

4.9 11
by P. W. Catanese

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Everyone knows the story of Jack and the beanstalk. Everyone also knows that Jack's little adventure made him a very rich man. But what they don't know is what happened a long time after Jack....
That's where Nick comes in. Orphaned and desperate, Nick joins a rugged band of thieves in hopes of a warm meal and a little protection. In exchange


Everyone knows the story of Jack and the beanstalk. Everyone also knows that Jack's little adventure made him a very rich man. But what they don't know is what happened a long time after Jack....
That's where Nick comes in. Orphaned and desperate, Nick joins a rugged band of thieves in hopes of a warm meal and a little protection. In exchange Nick must help them break into the lavish white castle rumored to belong to an old man named Jack. Legend says it's full of riches from Jack's quest up a magical beanstalk decades ago.
When Nick's dangerous mission leads him straight to Jack, he sees a chance to climb the famed beanstalk himself. But what Nick doesn't know is that things are different from when Jack made his climb. There are new foes at the top now. Ones with cruel weapons and foul plans -- plans that could destroy the world as Nick knows it. Will Nick come down the beanstalk a hero? Will he come down at all?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Turns out crime does not pay after all, and Jack, who robbed the giant of his hen and harp, has been carrying a guilty conscience heavier than a sack of golden eggs for 60 years. So when Nick, a young, orphaned thief, breaks into Jack's castle with larcenous intent, Jack instead lets him get away with a set of magic beans, in effect inviting him to climb a new beanstalk and find out what happened to the giant's kindly wife. What Jack doesn't know is that Nick entered the castle under orders from the vicious leader of a gang of thieves. He's as conflicted about his task as Jack is about his ill-gotten wealth. First-time novelist Catanese smartly plumbs this well-known story for all its moral ambiguity. Some readers might welcome quicker pacing (especially to eliminate redundancy as one villain's death unfolds from three different points of view, including the villain's as he's dying). Still, this is the rare fairy tale variant that will appeal to boys-not a princess nor romance in sight-and the plot brims with perilous battles, narrow escapes and truly icky elements (e.g., the nightmarish creatures with spider bodies and human heads that trail Nick through the giant's castle). Fans of Tim Burton's movies will enjoy this, and will likely welcome Catanese's second adventure, The Brave Apprentice ($4.99 paper ISBN 0-689-87174-0), a twist on The Brave Little Tailor, available now. Ages 9-12. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Orphaned Nick is in trouble. He is hungry and no one seems to care. A band of ruthless thieves need a boy to climb into Jack's castle so the door can be opened for a raid. The leader of the pack, Finch, knows exactly where to find such a desperate soul, one he can bend to his will. He discovers Nick at an abandoned farm site, homeless and weary. Nick, indeed, climbs the ivy to the castle but an unintentional meeting takes place between him and old man Jack, the legendary survivor in "Jack and the Beanstalk." The story takes a twist when Jack throws a monkey wrench into the caper and offers Nick a couple of magic beans. But within Jack is a secret that needs resolution and the reader will soon learn why the beans are important. This book was a fun read but not for the faint of heart. The writing uses vivid imagery providing deliciously gruesome people and creatures alike, one of my favorites being the baby head spiders. I did find several questions left unexplored but the adventure was exciting and worth the ride. 2005, Aladdin Paperbacks, Ages 9 to 12.
—Robyn Gioia
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-A fast-paced, accessible entry in the burgeoning genre of novels based on fairy tales. Homeless and hungry since a plague killed his family years ago, Nick has spent most of his life stealing food and sleeping in barns. His fortunes change when he joins a gang of ruffians in their attempt to rob an elderly, wealthy man named Jack. Jack shows Nick his magic hen and enchanted harp, then allows the boy to steal three green, glowing beans. When Nick plants them and climbs the resulting beanstalk, he finds immense treasure-and also the kind giantess who helped Jack escape her evil husband long ago. Nick learns that her equally evil sons have enslaved her as part of their plot to invade Nick and Jack's world. After struggling with his conscience, he frees her instead of taking his chance to steal the treasure and escapes the wicked giants. While this adventure favors plot over characterization and never explains the evil magic at work in the giants' world, it is clearly written and exciting. It will appeal to reluctant readers with its highly visual descriptions and will also make a successful read-aloud.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Publication date:
Further Tales Adventure Series
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

P. W. Catanese is the author of ten fantasy-adventure novels. His books have been received with critical acclaim and have been translated into five foreign languages. His Books of Umber trilogy has been nominated for six regional book awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet award, the Florida’s Sunshine State Young Readers award, and the Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Young Reader’s Choice awards. He lives in Connecticut. When he’s not writing books, Catanese draws cartoons, works for an advertising agency, and tries very hard to respond to every message from his readers. Meet him at PWCatanese.com, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Thief and the Beanstalk (Further Tales Adventure Series) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
madisondinger More than 1 year ago
The fictional novel I reviewed is called "The Thief and the Beanstalk" by P.W. canteses. The story takes place in the deep dark forest where a gang of thieves live. Their leader Fink heard about the tale of Jack and he wanted treasure too. So he set of on a mission to find a kid to climb the beanstalk. While crossing a farm he came across Nick. Nick was a boy looking for food in a deserted farms garden. So up and up nick climbed and adventured on to be greeted by mean monsters and creatures. He then in a hasty matter climbed down the beanstalk with coins and a goose. Fink was pleased but demanded more but Nick was slick and sly and escaped. He went on and raised a family on the old farm. I liked this book because it had an astounding moral of the story. The moral was that you shouldn't do something if you are being demanded to do something that risks your life or someone else's belongings. Also it followed another book and it was crammed with action and fun for the reader. I didn't like the book because it had too much exaggeration and had weird monsters and creatures. It also puts a negative twist on Jack and the Beanstalk. The authors writing style is clear but complex. It's in first person narrative. The paragraphs are detailed and structured. I would not recommend this book because it was very not viable and very dim. It puts a bad spin on a classic tale. I liked the book because it had a first-class moral of the story. I would recommend the book "Jack and the Beanstalk" because it's the original book. I would recommend "The Outsiders" because it was very exciting. I would also recommend the books "Hatchet" and "the River" both by the author Gary Paulson.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really didnt choose to read this book. I thought it would be boring and dumb. And man was i off! This story is full of action, great descreption, and good characters. This is a good book and i advise u check it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in like fourth grade and it was awesome. I totally a recomend this book for anyone who likes a good fairytale. Also by this author is The Eye of The Warlock. Spend the money and buy this book right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love how it contiues Jack and the beanstalk smoothley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This autor came to my school so i am starting his books how do u like them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nick is a boy whose parents died from a plague. Ever since then he has been wearing the same clothes and stealing food from farms to survive. Finch is a thief that made a gang of the toughest and meanest people he could find. He has heard Jack was extremely rich from the beanstalk and he just had to have Jack¿s treasures to himself. Finch finally found Jack¿s house and noticed the only way in was to climb up these vines that could not support a grown man. Finch went off to find a little boy to do the job for him. Finch found Nick. Nick could not pass this up because he was staring! Finch gave Nick black clothes and a nice hot bowl of stew. After Nick had his fill he fell asleep by the fire. The next night Finch ordered Nick to climb the vines and steal all he could. Finch also warned him if he didn¿t return he would hunt him down and kill him. Nick snuck into Jack¿s house. Jack caught Nick and let him leave with some magic beans. Nick new Finch would be mad so he ran away to an old farm house and plated the beans. When he turned around Finch and his gang were there waiting for him. Just then the beanstalk sprouted out of the ground into the sky. Nick climbed the beanstalk to escape. Nick now believed the old fairy of Jack climbing the beanstalk. Nick new of the giant castle with all of the treasures. He decided he would steal some treasure to be rich and have food. Nick saw two giants named Gnasher and Basher. Nick went into the castle, found the treasure room, and packed a bag of riches. He heard some girl crying. He dropped the bag and snuck into the next room. It was Gullinda, she had said her sons trapped her in there to make a rope long enough to get to the land of the little people and conquer it. Nick new he must go back to earth and warn Jack. After Nick told everyone they looked up at the beanstalk and saw Basher climbing down. This book was great. I didn¿t even write about half the story. There is a lot more excitement and surprises. This book is a good book for anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow I never expected to read a contiued tale that was full of so many choices and adventures, from meeting a surprising fairytale to meeting the villan himself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I think that everybody should read this book. As for me, I'm getting other books in this genre.