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Jack and the Seven Deadly Giants

by Sam Swope
Illustrated by Carll Cneut

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004
99 pages
ISBN: 0-374-33670-9

Ages 6 - 10

Giants and those who dare to confront them are a familiar theme in children's books, but author Sam Swope takes an innovative approach to the topic in this easy to read short novel. Young Jack tries to be good, but the whole village knows he's a bad boy. They say he's been trouble ever since he turned up on the miller's doorstep, a bawling infant left without a note of explanation. Things come to a head for Jack the day the preacher warns the congregation about the Seven Deadly Sins. Coincidentally, a traveler passing through town tells of seven deadly giants menacing the countryside. When the preacher blames Jack for the giants' presence, Jack decides he must save his village by leaving it. He soon encounters Sloth, the giant poet, whose dreams of literary greatness are matched by his overwhelming laziness. Next to appear is the Terrible Glutton, then angry Mrs. Roth, greedy Avaritch, the rampaging Wild Tickler, and so on. This short book works equally well for readers who can make the connections between the seven giants and the deadly sins they embody, and those who will simply enjoy Jack's deft handling of each giant's extreme behavior. A satisfying twist at the story's end brings Jack the happiness he so obviously deserves, and wraps this clever tale up in a neat conclusion. (MVL) 2004 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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