Great Illustrated Books

Jacky Ha-Ha: My Life Is a Joke

James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Jimmy Patterson/ Little, Brown
Pages : 352
Suggested Ages: 12+
ISBN: 9780316433761

In this second installment of the Jacky Ha-Ha series, Jacky leads the reader through a summer in Seaside Heights, her small town along the New Jersey coast. With carnival games, junk food, and plenty of leisure time, school is out and antics on the tourist-lined boardwalk are in!

But all great plans are put on hold when the Hart sisters learn they will have to get summer jobs to help make ends meet at home. Fortunately, Jacky quickly puts her theatrical chops to good use by drumming up business at a carnival stand, earning herself a job and quite the reputation.

Ms. O’Mara, beloved theater teacher, rallies Jacky and her friends to audition for a local production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring an all-star Broadway cast. In between shifts at the carnival stand, Jacky and her friends –

familiar faces from the first book in the series – attend rehearsals and prepare to be stars in the making.

As Jacky faces the bright lights of the stage, she must once again conquer her stutter, this time while navigating middle-school romance and intrigue: just why are all the boys acting so strange? What is with Ms. O’Mara’s mysterious nephew? And who is stealing from the shops along boardwalk?

Illustrations throughout the novel provide an aside to the reader, elaborating and embellishing scenes to comic effect and in keeping with Jacky’s wit, charm, and imagination.

Even with a large ensemble cast, there’s no question Jacky is the heroine of her tale. Summer-time crushes, a healthy dose of sleuthing, and plenty of laughs will keep readers turning the page to see how Jacky will get herself into – and out of – trouble all summer long.

Reviewed by : GPB


If you love this book, then try:

Jacky Ha Ha By James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
All's Faire in Middle School By Victoria Jamieson
Awkward By Svetlana Chmakova
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown By Crystal Allen

Critics have said

"Jacky is the best yet. Fun, smart, emotionally engaging, Jacky is a character that young readers will love spending time with."―Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will find Jacky entertaining....the art is playful and fun. This title is sure to have high circulation among fans of Patterson's previous works."
―School Library Journal

"The story is stuffed with page-turning pranks, and the swoopy b&w cartoons from Kerascoët only add to Jacky's untamed energy....The novel is sure to amuse and encourage readers who don't have it all figured out just yet."
―Publisher's Weekly

"Smart, funny, and immensely likable, Jacky is a colorful narrator and an increasingly interesting character, and her struggles will strike a chord with many readers....The many black-and-white cartoon-style drawings increase the book's appeal."―Booklist

"James Patterson has figured out the formula for writing entertaining books for tween readers. Jacky is a wildly engaging character. [The story is] great fun."
―Parents' Choice

"Jacky is a genuinely likable and funny protagonist...Kerascoët's black and white illustrations are full of verve and energy, as cartoonish Jacky careens her way through life."―BCCB