Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Jackaby, by William Ritter

Summary:  Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a nonhuman creature.


Find it at WCPL


4 thoughts on “Jackaby, by William Ritter

  1. I thought this book was amazing. I know most people have not read it and the description sounds a little typical, but the way it was written made this book an awesome read. I liked how it was placed in the past but did not deal with time-travel. I liked how realistic the characters seemed and the flaws that came with them, since a character without flaws is a boring one. I liked how real the setting was and how I could imagine it easily. But most of all I love the plot: the way the story flowed and was laid out was amazing. The author’s imagination was amazing too. I think this book needs more readers, since it is #1 on my list and since it has not had many reads.
    I recommend it for 6th graders ages 11-12 because it COULD scare younger people.


  2. This book is a supernatural mystery with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. As Sarah said previously, the plot sounds a bit typical, and in many ways it is. However, the way it was executed made it better than the average book of its genre. Abigail was not your standard damsel-in-distress main character that so many supernatural novels of this sort seem to have. She wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty while solving the crimes, and her narration was humorous in some parts and appropriately serious in others. Her character was one of my favorite parts of the book.
    That said, I do think this book had more opportunity for description. I would’ve liked to see the setting a bit more clearly in some places in the book and several of the more minor characters seemed rather one-dimensional.
    I personally do not have this book in my Top Seven for the Mock Newbery, but I would recommend it to seventh- or eighth-graders and up, and I would note that there are some parts of the book that could prove a bit too scary for younger readers.

  3. Jackaby was a wonderful book! You will never get bored with the supernatural plot. The characters were very clear and Abigail was open-minded and always striving for adventure. These qualities made her the perfect assistant and character. The characters were the strongest criteria. The setting was awkward because she would describe one scene thoroughly while another place was skipped over. Overall, this book could qualify for a fun read.

  4. I really enjoyed this book. The detail and description was amazing. It’s not your typical mystery which makes this book really distinguishable. Each of the characters are different, and you can tell who’s who just by the description. They all have different personalities.
    If I could go back and redo my top seven, it would be The Night Gardener, Nest, Bird, The Paper Cowboy, Rain Reign, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, and Jackaby. All of these books are great, and I would recommend these books and Jackaby. I’m sure Jackaby’s future readers will enjoy it thoroughly.

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