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Groundwood Books

The Several Lives of Orphan Jack

Written by Sarah Ellis • Illustrated by Bruno St-Aubin

For kids 7 - 10 years old | Published July 26, 2004 | ISBN 9780888996183
JUVENILE FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / General

Cover of The Several Lives of Orphan Jack

Regular price $8.95 CAD

88 pages | 8.400 in × 5.500 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Several Lives of Orphan Jack

Sarah Ellis • Bruno St-Aubin

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

For young Jack, life is tough at the Opportunities School for Orphans. But Jack is good at staying out of trouble. 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, but suddenly his life is nothing but trouble. Still, he is a clever and resilient boy, and eventually he makes his way into the big world. Jack is rich in ideas, and soon he finds there is a place for an enterprising boy who has whims, concepts, plans, opinions, impressions, notions and fancies to spare.

In the tradition of Natalie Babbitt, Sarah Ellis brings her quirky sense of humor and imagination to bear in this witty, warm fable. Bruno St-Aubin's evocative black-and-white illustrations capture perfectly the dreadful Schoolmaster Bane, the crowlike accountant Mr. Ledger, Lou the skinny bun merchant, and Christabel, the miller's little daughter.

About the Creators

Sarah Ellis

SARAH ELLIS is a celebrated author, teacher and children’s literature expert. She has written more than twenty books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Pick-Up Sticks), the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (Odd Man Out) and the Sheila Egoff Award. Her first novel, The Baby Project, remains a children’s classic, still in print more than thirty years after publication.Sarah is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine, and she is a former faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Bruno St-Aubin

Bruno St-Aubin is one of Canada's most renowned children's book illustrators and to date has written or illustrated over 130 picture books and novels.

Awards and Praise

"Ellis has created a small gem here, with messages about following your heart tucked into the sentences, phrases, thoughts, and ideas that she seamlessly weaves together." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"Told with the outsize zest of a tall tale, this vibrant, well-crafted novel starts strong and gets even better." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

  • Long-listed Chocolate Lily Award, 2004
  • Short-listed CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, 2004
  • Long-listed Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 2004
  • Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice, 2004
  • Winner Mr. Christie's Book Award, 2004
  • Long-listed Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize, 2004
  • Short-listed Governor General's Literary Awards: Text, 2003
  • Commended CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection), 2004
  • Winner IODE Violet Downey Book Award, 2004
  • Short-listed Hackmatack Award, 2005