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ISBN 0375816011 / 9780375816017 / 0-375-81601-1
Publisher Alfred a Knopf Inc
› Find signed collectible books: 'Spring-Heeled Jack'
"The wisps of fog were whisked aside, and the girls looked up at the stars and saw--The devil? Well, if he wasn't the devil, then who the devil was he?" Philip Pullman can sure tell a story. Spring-Heeled Jack, originally published years ago in the U.K., is an over-the-top Victorian romp in the boisterous vein of the master storyteller's Count Karlstein and I Was a Rat. All the ingredients for an edge-of-seat page-turner are here: three hapless orphans; the brandy-swigging Mr. Killjoy and his horrible assistant, Miss Gasket, at the Alderman Cawn-Plaster Memorial Orphanage; and the greedy, murderous Mack the Knife who awaits them in the dank city of London. Of course, this is no bad-luck Lemony Snicket tale. There's a superhero named Spring-Heeled Jack to save the day! Pullman is at his tongue-in-cheek best here, telling half the happy-ending tale with a sooty, dramatic Dickensian spin, and the other half with David Mostyn's artful cartoons, undercutting the mock-heavy-handed drama at every turn. Readers will find plenty of Pullman's characteristic wit and wordplay amid the nonstop, rip-roaring adventure. Excellent! (Ages 8 to 14) --Karin Snelson [via]