The Several Lives of Orphan Jack

Groundwood Books
Paperback | 88 Pages
ISBN: 0888996187
Reading age from 7 to 10

For young Jack, life is tough at the Opportunities School for Orphans and Foundlings. But Jack is good at staying out of trouble. In all his years at the school he has skipped over trouble, danced around trouble, slid under trouble, melted away from trouble, talked his way out of trouble and slipped between two close troubles like a cat through a picket fence. When Jack turns twelve, he is given the biggest opportunity of all, and suddenly his life is nothing but trouble. Still, he’s a clever and resilient boy, and eventually he makes his way into the big world.

Where did this book come from?
Long ago I wrote a short fairy tale called “The Ideas Peddler.” People read it, liked it, told it out loud and some kids even made a play of it. I wanted to turn it into something bigger but it took me nearly twenty years to realize two things about it. One was that the original story needed to be the last chapter in a chapter book. The other was that the peddler needed to be not a man but a boy. Some ideas take a long time coming!

Here’s what some people think about The Several Lives of Orphan Jack

Orphan Jack is a lark, a tall tale, a word-rich enticement (especially to young boys) to read for the ride. It fits no established category except that of must-read.
-Quill and Quire

So, how good is The Several Lives of Orphan Jack? I've just found it under my son's pillow, where he seems to have hidden it from me, since we were both trying to read it at the same time.

-Vancouver Sun

A small gem with messages about following your heart.

-Booklist (a starred review)

Short-listed for the 2003 Governor General’s Literary Award.

Winner of the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award

What does Orphan Jack look like? Click here to find out!