In which a young boy confronts vampire bats, deadly snakes, cockroaches the size of hamsters … and that’s just the beginning.

by Stephanie Greene on May 22, 2014

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Chapter One. In which Jack is unfortunately reunited with his parents … and we’re off! Jack likes school, staying indoors, and normalcy. His parents like adventure, wandering the world in pursuit of their hair-brain schemes, and remote places. This is one parent-child mismatch that’s sure to give many-a-young reader hours of fun. In  Jack the Castaway – Book #1 of the new middle grade Berenson Schemes series by Lisa Doan and illustrator Ivica Stevanovic – Jack has been happily staying with his spinster Aunt Julia while his parents explore the Amazon on one of their get-rich-quick schemes. Unfortunately, poor Aunt Julia is hit by a bus and his parents’ scheme fails, so Jack’s forced to go with them on their newest idea to start a snorkeling business on a remote Caribbean island. Roaches the size of hamsters, deadly snakes in the middle of the night, a ship wreck that leaves Jack alone on an uninhabited island … and that’s only the good news.

It will all work out. Or will it?

For readers who like adventure or humor or the pitting of child-against-parents, this one’s a winner. The best news is that the second book in the series – Jack and the Wild Life – will be published in August. Any boy whose first thought upon finding himself alone on a desert island is to wash his clothes is sure to be an hilarious companion this summer.

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