Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff

~ About the Book ~

Author: Liesl Shurtliff
Publication: April 14th 2015 
By: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 

Jack has always been told that giants are not real. But if that’s the case, how do you explain the huge, foot shaped pond in the yard, or the occurrence of strange and sudden storms in which the earth quakes and dirt rains from the sky? When his father is carried away in such a storm, Jack gives chase in the only logical way: by trading the family cow for some magic beans that will give him access to a land beyond the clouds. He arrives to find that the giants themselves have giant-sized troubles. With the help of an overachieving little sister, a magic goose and a chatty cook (who is not interested in grinding human bones into bread, thank you very much!) Jack sets out to save his dad and save the day.

~ My Thoughts ~

Very well done! I loved the characters, the setting, the subtle changes (ex. not all giants are evil), and how it ties into the original story while still having it's own unique vibe.

The audiobook is also a fun time!

~ Book Trailer ~


~ Author Q + A ~


Hi Liesl,

Thank you for joining me today!

What made you want to write a story about Jack and the Beanstalk?
My motivations for writing any given fairytale are generally two-fold. I have to have an affinity for the original tale, but it also has to have a certain element that doesn’t completely satisfy me. With Jack and the Beanstalk, I love the magic beans, the giant adventure, and the hen that lays golden eggs, but I wondered about young Jack. Here’s a boy who disobeys/ignores his mother, steals from an unsuspecting giant three times, and then when the giant comes after him, Jack takes him out. And he’s a hero because….? Though I didn’t have any interest in making Jack the villain of the story, I did feel compelled to explain and justify his behavior a bit more. 

Which character was the most difficult to write and why?
Jack was quite difficult. At first he came off as a little too naughty and unlikeable. I think I was channeling my memories of growing up with my older brother and the tortures he inflicted on me, but I forgot to include the good things, too. Though I knew Jack had to have a rascally sense of adventure, that needed to be balanced with honest, tender motivations in order for him to be a character readers could relate to and want to spend time with. It took several revisions to find that balance.

What is the last book you read and loved?
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. 

The best piece of writing advice you've been given is....
 “Don’t listen to advice. Not even mine.” —Karen Cushman 

I ask all of my blog guests this one: Brownies, cupcakes or pie?
Brownies! My best friend makes the best in the world, which is why she’s my best friend.


~ About the Author ~ 

Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love having an unusual name—and today she wouldn’t change it for the world!
Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children, where she still dreams of the mountains. Rump is her first novel. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 



~ Giveaway ~ 

U.S./Canada Only
One copy of Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Must be 13 years old to enter. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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