MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Mostly True Story of Jack

by Kelly Barnhill

The Mostly True Story of Jack
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2012, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Don't be stupid, Jack told himself firmly. Houses can't want things.

The only people he saw were three kids - a girl and two boys - standing at the weedy corner of an empty lot, halfway through town. Three bicycles leaned on their sides at random angles, as though they had only just been cast aside, the front wheels still slowly spinning around and around. The kids watched the road, their shoulders pressed together and their heads moving in unison as they tracked the rental car. Jack pressed his forehead to the glass and cupped his hands around his eyes, trying to get a good look at their faces, but they were shadowed and too far away. It didn't matter, he told himself, what they looked like - or even whether there were kids in town at all. He didn't have friends at home anyway, so he certainly wasn't expecting to make any friends in Iowa.

But the house at the end of the road... well, it was different. More than different. It announced itself. Big, bright flowers and tall, tangled grasses grew wildly in the front yard, with the house rising boldly behind, its edges shimmering in the heat.

Please tell me we're not going to that house, Jack thought desperately. Sharp pinpricks of worry erupted at the back of his neck, and the hairs on his arms stood on end. He thought he was going to be sick, though he didn't know why.

The car slowed down and they pulled up in front. Jack's mother opened the door with a rusty sigh. She pressed her lips tightly together and crossed her arms. "It's not supposed to look like this," she said, shaking her head. "This house is all wrong."

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill. Copyright © 2011 by Kelly Barnhill. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Never-Open Desert Diner
    The Never-Open Desert Diner
    by James Anderson
    James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner, starts off as an entertaining ...
  • Book Jacket: The Vanishing Velazquez
    The Vanishing Velazquez
    by Laura Cumming
    Author Laura Cumming spins out a tale of obsession and ruin in her latest book, The Vanishing Vel&#...
  • Book Jacket
    The Fair Fight
    by Anna Freeman
    Anna Freeman's debut novel, The Fair Fight, highlights the world of boxing in England during ...
Win this book!
Win The 100 Year Miracle

50 Copies to Give Away!

The 100 Year Miracle is a rich, enthralling novel, full of great characters.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H Now B C?

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.