Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation
by Matt Myklusch
For the last eleven years, Jack has been raised at St. Barnaby's Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost ("Crushing the spirit of childhood since 1898"). He was found on the doorstep with the name "Jack" on the cradle and no last name. So now Jack is Jack Blank, victim of bullies and evil teachers everywhere.
But Jack isn't a wimp and he's not one to let the daily grind of extra chores get him down. On a day when the rest of the orphanage is going on a field trip to Mount Dismoor Maximum Security Prison, Jack chooses to hide out in the library with his secret stash of comic books. Of course, he couldn't go on the field trip even if he wanted to (which he doesn't) because he seems to always make mechanical things stop working, so he's been banned from riding the bus.
Basically, Jack is trapped at the orphanage and is usually pretty bored.
All of that changes on this field trip day when a Robo-Zombie that Jack has only ever seen in his comic books appears and tries to kill him. Soon after that, another man shows up and tells Jack that he doesn't belong at the orphanage and he is taking him to Imagine Nation, where all his comic book stories are true and almost anything can happen.
Unfortunately, instead of a happy reunion with people just like him, Jack is discovered to have been unknowingly harboring an enemy and now there are many who want him dead, including the Robo-Zombie.
Can Jack find out who and what he is before it's too late?
Final thoughts: This is a fun read and a definite story for boys who love comic books. The whole land of Imagine Nation is carefully crafted and easy to see in the mind's eye. If you have boys around who need a little push to get reading "real books", this is just what you need.