Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade (Jack Henry)


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Told in the first person, the stories are whimsical, low key, and appealing, largely because of their real-life quality. Despite a setting that is "historical" to today's readers, the feelings transcend the years. Kirkus Reviews Though Jack has lived in nine houses and gone to five schools in his young life, three things have remaine Horn Book starred September, Eight stories bearing close resemblance to events from the author's childhood in the s feature typical family scenarios.

Kirkus Reviews Though Jack has lived in nine houses and gone to five schools in his young life, three things have remained constant: Gantos Rotten Ralph depicts him in a loosely knit series of incidents -- tragic, comic, or both. When Jack copies his older sister's handwriting and his teacher accuses him of cheating, he vengefully shows her his diary, which also contains his pressed bug collection; he forgets to put his bike away and loses it in a hurricane; when his little brother points a finger-gun at a passing plane and it crashes, Jack takes quick action to save him from a lifetime of guilt; at his grandfather's sad funeral, he talks with a man who claims to have touched a UFO.

Surrounded by a quirky cast a relentlessly pessimistic older sister, a mother who makes the best of things, neighbors who remind Jack of the Stupids , Jack is an innocent with a sixth-grader's sensibility and a good heart, learning how quickly life's highs can become lows and vice versa. In the end, another job falls through and the family prepares to move; still, The Sound of Music finally gives way to Planet of the Apes.

Funny moments, with an underlying poignancy. Publishers Weekly June 6, The author of the offbeat Rotten Ralph picture books makes an auspicious foray into new ground with this semi-autobiographical, wholly engaging novel. His narrator, Jack, travels through the often poignant moments that highlight his sixth grade year, at the same time describing his unpredictable family life: Stuck between an older sister he emulates and a pesky if appealing younger brother, Jack always strives to do the right thing--often to land in trouble.

His perspective is quirky but reliable, and often surprising. Lauderdale, Florida, sometime in the late '60s, these eight stories about an appealing sixth grader named Jack are filled with oddball characters and offbeat situations: Jack's world is not only weird, it's rootless.

Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade

He's lived in nine different houses and attended five schools in six years-and, some days, it's even dangerously out of control: Gantos is a terrific writer with a wonderfully wry sensibility, a real talent for turning artful phrases, and a gift for creating memorable characters. Mar 08, Kristi rated it really liked it. I thoroughly enjoyed these stories.

I had the privilege of hearing Jack Gantos talk at an educator conference last week and he was so interesting and entertaining! I'm working my way through his books. Apr 01, Sandy Kanjanakuha rated it really liked it. I recently read a book call Heads or Tails by Jack Gantos. I think it was a very good book for kids at about 11 or 12 to read.

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This story is about a boy name Jack, which is the author himself. It tells about many events that happened during his 6th grade year. One of my favorite event that happen in this book is the event of the copy cat. He had a sister, her name is Betsy. Whatever she did he did, whatever she owned he needed to have one.

One day his sister got a diary from their mother. Jack saw that his sister got a diary, he stared at his mother and asked," Wheres's mine? Jack started to cry and roll on the floor. That left his mother with no choice but to buy him a diary. When he got his diary he was so happy. But when he tried to write, his head was blank. So it shows that Jack or the author had a really wild imagination.

I really enjoyed this book because of how the author tells his story and what happens in his life. Like the part where he tried to rain his dog to act like a human and his dog got eaten by an alligator, I think any kid who reads this story will really enjoy how the author lived his 6th grade life. View all 5 comments. Jan 06, Bethany Erickson rated it really liked it Shelves: His father has changed jobs more times than that. Jack has an older sister in 8th grade, Betsy, and a younger brother, Pete, in first. There are eight stories total, and each deal with humor, death, family, and of course, childhood.

Aug 31, Linda Lipko rated it really liked it Shelves: Jack lives a heads or tails life when one flip of the coin can change his life for good or bad. While the coin consistently flips on the loosing side, he finds adventure and drama at each turn. With a father who cannot seem to find the right job, nor can he keep it, living in six rental homes in five years keeps him hoping and navigating different rules and different schools. A sister who is bratty and cruel, a little brother who is insistent of wanting Jack's attention, and a mother who does the Jack lives a heads or tails life when one flip of the coin can change his life for good or bad.

A sister who is bratty and cruel, a little brother who is insistent of wanting Jack's attention, and a mother who does the best she can through it all, Jack never misses opportunity to get in trouble. Written from Jack's perspective, the style if funny and engaging. I laughed out loud at some of these exploits. While poverty isn't funny, the stories told made me want to walk along with Jack and see the world through his humorous eyes. Feb 02, Shoshana rated it liked it.

I wanted to love it. I find myself saying that often. Sixth grade is an up-and-down year, and we can always use more funny and honest stories about it. This was definitely both those things.

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Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade (Jack Henry) [Jack Gantos] on linawycatuzy.gq *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From the Newbery. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. The author of the offbeat Rotten Ralph picture Look inside this book. Heads or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade (Jack Henry) by [Gantos.

But although I think episodic structure can work, it didn't really this time, possibly because many of the chapters introduced new characters and didn't give me time to care about them. The MC has the same first name as the author, which makes me think this is largely autobiographical; including autobiogra I wanted to love it. The MC has the same first name as the author, which makes me think this is largely autobiographical; including autobiographical events is a fine thing to do, but in fiction, telling a good story needs to trump whatever really happened.

Mar 31, Amy rated it really liked it. I enjoyed the book, and especially related to his story of riding his bike behind the mosquito fogger. How many other people my age must have done that as a kid? Dave did too, and now I'm wondering if everyone did. Where were our parents?? How could they not know that was unhealthy?

It was a great book for showing how kids deal with things that happen and how they view family life ex. I recently saw Jack Gantos speak at the reading conference, so I tr I enjoyed the book, and especially related to his story of riding his bike behind the mosquito fogger. I recently saw Jack Gantos speak at the reading conference, so I tried to imagine his voice reading it.

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He was a great speaker to see - very animated and fun. Apr 20, Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it liked it Shelves: Very amusing for tweeners. Not so much for old farts like me. I enjoyed it like I would a Reader's Digest article--cute, but shallow. It's not exactly something I'll seek out and read more of. And definitely not as flat-out-funny as Pat McManus's childhood tales.

But it was amusing. Definitely recommended for pre-teen boys. Jul 27, Wendy rated it it was amazing.

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This book is part of a series of semi-autobiographical stories from author Jack Gantos. You know, most people need to embellish stories from their lives to make them more interesting; you get the feeling that Gantos needs to tone his stories down because he manages to get into so much trouble! I really loved these stories of a kid with an imperfect but loving family; you'll root for him the whole time. Apr 24, Diannah Biron rated it really liked it. But I believe that's how life is. Nothing goes as planned and nothing goes how you want it to go.

Jack grows up with a hard life with a father is is basically unstable and has to constantly move. Jack doesn't have any consistency in his life. Although, this book was dark, it was very funny. It really made me think and had some thoughtful parts in it. I'm definitely recommending this to my 10 year old nephew! Oct 07, Nicole: I think the book Heads or Tails by Jack Gantos was a great book! The book was about his short stories from the 6th grade. My favorite short story from his book was copycat because i like the way the story ends because the mean teacher that believed that jack wrote his own work felt stupid at the end.

I really recommend this book to people that want to have a good laugh or smile. May 02, Heidi rated it liked it. Lots of humor and realistic scenarios from Jack Gantos, the king of misadventures. This book contains several short stories about Jack's experiences during his sixth grade year. Some are laugh-out-loud funny, others seem odd additions. The ending is abrupt-- no warning, just over. I was hoping there would be a more sophisticated ending that would link all the stories together cohesively.

Jan 10, Matt added it. The book heads or tails was a very short book.

Heads Or Tails: Stories from the Sixth Grade - Jack Gantos - Google Книги

It was easy to read but didn't make much sense. The chapters where all a different book it felt like. If you want a quick and easy read i would recamend this book but if you want a book that makes sense to you and where you can follow the plot line i wouldn't recomend it. Mar 07, Halle Caban rated it really liked it. This boom by jack Fantis is amazing! This book was written on , but seems like it's been write in I enjoyed his book very much. Te book is about the kids story's my favorite was when they went to cocoa beach and are about to mor there,but using want to spoil it.

There are about 7 or 6 stories in he book. I enjoyed and you might too. Jan 24, Ms. Campbell rated it really liked it. I love the mischief the character gets into, so different from my life. If you liked the autobiographical nature of Fig Pudding by Ralph Fletcher you'll like this book, it's just a bit more "raw". He's got more in the series of Jack I'd like to read. Oct 05, Amanda rated it it was amazing.

Jack Gantos

It was an amzaming book. You never knew what was going to happen next in the book. There was alot of times when I wanted to cry but also times when I wanted to laugh to I cried. It is a good book. It is based on the author life. It teaches you what not to do if you don't want to get in troble.

Nov 25, Rjgolden rated it liked it Shelves: This is about Jack entering the 6th grade. Students would be able to relate to this book, and would be a good read to use at the beginning of a school year if teaching 6th grade. Jan 16, Matyas rated it it was amazing. Head of tails is a great book.

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Jack Gantos is an interesting writer that is able to take little memoryes of his life to make it into a series of books. A book I would recommend to all. From the Newbery Medal—winning author of Dead End in Norvelt , eight more hysterical semi-autobiographical Jack Henry stories about a sixth grader's trials and tribulations. Jack's life is a crazy roller-coaster ride.

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At his fifth school in six years, he has a crackpot teacher who won't give him a break about his lousy handwriting and a secret crush who wants to be a policewoman. One of the short stories from this novel is used as a mentor text in the personal narrative writing unit I teach so I thought I'd read the entire book of short stories. Writing in his diary about his good days and bad days is one way Jack survives his up-and-down year. He knows that his parents can't afford to buy him all of the things he wants, but he's learned to adapt to that reality, as do most kids who come from households of modest means. But he's also a kid who knows that life can go any which way at any given moment. Nothing goes as planned and nothing goes how you want it to go. Jack has an older sister in 8th grade, Betsy, and a younger brother, Pete, in first.

At his fifth school in six years, he has a crackpot teacher who won't give him a break about his lousy handwriting and a secret crush who wants to be a policewoman. At home, he has a pesky little brother with a knack for getting hurt whenever Jack's supposed to be looking after him, a terror for an older sister, all sorts of weird neighbors, and, last but not least, ferocious alligators in the canal behind his house.

Writing in his diary about his good days and bad days is one way Jack survives his up-and-down year. But he's also a kid who knows that life can go any which way at any given moment. While the coin consistently flips on the loosing side, he finds adventure and drama at each turn. An enjoyable read, particularly for boys, and for readers who are just working their way up to chapter books.