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Customer Reviews

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on 16 November 2000
As a 14-year-old, some may think that this book is a bit too young for me, but that is not so. We chose to review this book in my Philip Pullman fan club, and I found it fantastic beyond my expectations. Philip Pullman merges fantastic plots with mesmerising writing skill, in a book that will have 3 year olds to 103 year olds on the edge of their seats. The story tells of children, eager to escape their cruel orphanage in victorian London to travel to America. But evil Mack the Knife captures their locket which is their only method of paying for this trip, and all hope is lost..... but then, Spring heeled jack comes along - a super-hero who closely resembles the devil, and "if he wasn't the devil, then who the devil was he?" as Philip Pullman says. This is a stunning book, funny, scary, even tearful in places - and it deserves to be put on the list of the best childrens' books ever. Philip Pullman has written amazing books for older children, most notably the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, but this is the perfect book for younger, and older readers alike. I only wish I had read this when I was 8.... I would have worshipped it :-)
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on 16 September 2008
Set in Victorian London, the book is an interesting and positive spin on `Spring-Heeled Jack', a mysterious character which caused widespread panic throughout the south of England in the 1800's. Documented as being a sinister and superhuman being with the ability to jump buildings in a single bound, Philip Pullman draws upon previous documentation that describe Spring-Heeled Jack as the precursor to Batman.

The story's main characters are three young children that escape the clutches of a poorly run orphanage, in search of a new life. With each danger that the streets bring, Spring-Heeled Jack is there to protect them.

This novel combines the use of comic book strips throughout, which could serve as a vehicle to help the low-level reader through the novel. These fabulous illustrations also help the young reader in understanding the standard of living for people in Victorian London.

Could be used as further reading for Year 5, possibly tied in with a project on historical London, or relatively recent mythology. In regards to literacy, the book could be used to discuss themes that occur in writer's work, and the comparisons that could be made between this and Philip Pullman's later novels, and the difference in language used by Victorian characters.
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on 20 November 2015
Not in as good condition as advertised. OK but nothing to throw a party over!
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on 2 October 2015
Great book, interesting and darkly funny, good read.
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on 5 January 2016
Book bought as a gift, but looks good at a glance.
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on 16 November 2015
My son loves this book!
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on 31 August 2012
Received in perfect condition and well packaged. I knew very little about Spring Heeled Jack, this has more appeal to younger readers. A good yarn and would make children quite happy to read it.
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