Jacky Ha-Ha My life is a joke

James Patterson, 1947-

Book - 2017

"Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she's a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer--but her parents have other plans for her"--

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Series
Patterson, James, 1947- Jacky Ha-Ha.
Subjects
Genres
Humorous fiction
Published
New York ; Boston : Jimmy Patterson Books/Little, Brown and Company 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
342 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780316433761
0316433764
Main Author
James Patterson, 1947- (author)
Other Authors
Chris Grabenstein (author), Kerascoët (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In 1991, 12-year-old Jacky and her older sisters must find summer jobs to help support the family. Soon she's running the Balloon Race game on the Jersey Shore boardwalk. Though she never stutters while amusing customers with her wisecracking carny patter, her tryout for A Midsummer Night's Dream is a near disaster. Still, she lands a small part. Later, after the Balloon Race booth is robbed and she loses her job, she puts her acting skills to practical use, setting a "mousetrap" to catch the thief. Lines from Shakespearean dialogue, along with facts about his plays and Elizabethan stagecraft, are woven into the story. As in Jacky Ha-Ha (2016), the framework introduces Jacky as an adult, a successful actress reminiscing for her two daughters. Black-and-white drawings with speech balloons illustrate the narrative and underscore its humor. Often impulsive but later reflective, the young Jacky makes mistakes and learns from them. Whether she's helping a sister, solving a crime, or dealing with a boy's first stumbling steps toward romance, this chapter book is engaging from start to finish. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Patterson and Grabenstein's latest big-time series will fly off the shelves, and that's no joke. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

In 1990, the seven Hart sisters are living under the not-particularly-watchful eye of their hardworking father while their mother, a Marine, is serving in Iraq. Just as school starts, 12-year-old Jacky vows that this year she will rise above her reputation as a class clown and prankster. Nevertheless, she racks up five detentions on the first day and 20 by the week's end. Her only way out of trouble terrifies Jacky, who stutters: try out for the school play and enter a public speaking competition. Jacky reluctantly joins the play's cast and the oratorical team. 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. While the introduction, a letter written years later by Jacky to her daughters, lets readers know in advance that things will turn out OK, it won't diminish the fun of following this good-hearted but smart-mouthed tomboy through the ups and downs of her seventh-grade year.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Patterson puts out a lot of product, but his middle-grade collaborations with Grabenstein are among his best—and best promoted. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Seventh grader Jacky Hart has been the class clown ever since classmates laughed at her stutter back in elementary school. "What's so wrong with wanting to be liked?" she wonders. Now "Jacky Ha-Ha" can't break out of her routine, even though her rudeness and pranks earn her numerous detentions. With her mother serving in Operation Desert Shield (the story is set on the Jersey Shore in 1990) and her father mysteriously absent most nights, Jacky is left without much guidance. Could a dynamic new English teacher help redirect Jacky's need to perform? The story is stuffed with page-turning pranks and social and family drama (Jacky is one of six sisters), and the swoopy b&w cartoons from Kerascoët, a pseudonym for French artists Marie Pommepuy and Sébastian Cosset, only add to Jacky's untamed energy. Framed as a successful comedy writer looking back on her wild 12th year, the novel is sure to amuse and encourage readers who don't have it all figured out just yet. Ages 8–12. Author's agent: (for Patterson) Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly; (for Grabenstein) Eric Myers, Spieler Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Mar.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—The jokes fall flat in this mediocre tale of family, middle school mishaps, and personal acceptance. Jacky recounts her life during the 1990s, when George H.W. Bush was president and Nintendo was popular. Jacky Hart, the fourth of six sisters, uses her quick wit to disguise her speech impediment. Although she makes herself a promise to behave differently in middle school, she unfortunately ends up, once again, being the class clown. This stems from her home life. There, she needs to be a personal cheerleader to her sisters, as their father is mysteriously missing during family dinners and their mother is off serving in Operation Desert Shield. When Jacky finds herself in big trouble for being a jokester, Mrs. O'Mara, a new English teacher, helps her realize that she has talent far beyond collecting detentions. Readers will find Jacky entertaining, but her character is ultimately unoriginal. Cartoon illustrations are interspersed throughout the novel, similar to those in Patterson's I Funny (Little, Brown, 2013) and Rachel Renee Russell's "Dork Diaries" series (S. & S.). While the art is playful and fun to look at, it never feels essential to the text. Readers may find Jacky's grown-up narration confusing, as she recounts her life as a middle schooler. The ending is unrealistic. VERDICT Despite its many shortcomings, this title is sure to have high circulation among fans of Patterson's previous works.—Jessica Bratt, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids, MI [Page 136]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she's a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer--but her parents have other plans for her"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Wanting to spend the summer on the stage but required by her parents to take a job instead, Jacky tackles the serious responsibilities of babysitting while dreaming of performing in a summer-stock Shakespeare production, an ambition that challenges her organizational skills. Simultaneous eBook. 500,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Working a summer job on the Jersey Shore, Jacky Hart, who wanted nothing more than to act and sing all summer, must juggle serious responsibilities in order to participate in a stock performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In the #1 New York Times bestselling series, class clown Jacky Hart is a triple threat onstage and she wants to act and sing all summer long -- but her parents have other plans.Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she's a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer -- but her parents have other plans for her. Jacky reluctantly signs up for a summer job in her resort town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where tourists come to enjoy the beach and fun carnival atmosphere.Now she has serious responsibilities like her job and babysitting her younger sisters, but Jacky longs to perform in the summer stock performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Can she handle all of her important commitments and still have fun with her friends -- or will she learn that juggling isn't one of her many talents?James Patterson's middle grade jokester Jacky returns in this wild romp through summer in the Jersey Shore, featuring lively illustrations by French artist duo Kerascoët.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

In the #1 New York Times bestselling series, class clown Jacky Hart is a triple threat onstage and she wants to act and sing all summer long -- but her parents have other plans.

Jacky Hart has found a hidden talent in the performing arts, and she's a triple threat onstage! She wants nothing more than to act and sing all summer -- but her parents have other plans for her. Jacky reluctantly signs up for a summer job in her resort town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, where tourists come to enjoy the beach and fun carnival atmosphere.

Now she has serious responsibilities like her job and babysitting her younger sisters, but Jacky longs to perform in the summer stock performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Can she handle all of her important commitments and still have fun with her friends -- or will she learn that juggling isn't one of her many talents?

James Patterson's middle grade jokester Jacky returns in this wild romp through summer in the Jersey Shore, featuring lively illustrations by French artist duo Kerascoët.