ORDINARY JACK by Helen Cresswell
Kirkus Star


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The beguiling first in a trilogy about the Bagthorpes--who must be: the eccentric British family, with a handful of multi-talented children, a deaf grandfather, a perpetually exasperated father, an ungrammatical housekeeper, a gorgeous Danish au pair, a pyromaniacal four-year-old cousin, a bird-brained mutt, and Jack, a seemingly talentless eleven-year-old out of place in a family where ali the others have several Strings to their Bows. Stereotypes yes, as thus set down, but to read Ordinary Jack is to feel that Cresswell has just invented--or better yet, encountered--them all. It's hard to resist citing one hilarious development after another; suffice it to say that Jack, beaten at swimming by eight-year-old Rosie who already has three Strings to her Bow (violin, math, portrait painting), conspires with sympathetic if distracted Uncle Parker to pass himself off as a prophet; that the deception goes swimmingly until the climactic fiasco; and that you won't stop laughing till it's over.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Macmillan