Ugo and Jack
Fiction, Children's Books
February 26, 2021
Jack has an unhappy home life on a remote farm. His alcoholic father and bullying older brother make life miserable for him and his younger brother, Billy. His only moments of brightness are occasional escapes to the beautiful wooded valley near the farm. On one such visit a freak accident leaves him unconscious. Drawn into a strange but wonderful encounter with the spirit world, he meets a new friend, Ugo, at his home, Fire Fly Valley. When an unexpected opportunity suddenly comes to explore the valley further, Jack is taken into a world of completely new dimensions where he can see things previously hidden. Wherever there is life, he discovers, there is also a spiritual force and he learns that he can even change the future for generations to come.
Ugo and Jack by Geoff Parton is a fascinating middle-grade fantasy story that is absolutely wonderful! The main character goes from an unhappy and dysfunctional life to one of power and joy. The author skillfully and courageously tackles the uncomfortable topic of domestic violence and offers an interesting, realistic and clever resolution.
In the beginning, we meet Jack who lives with his two brothers and parents in rural Tasmania, Australia. He is subjected to violent attacks by his father, who is an alcoholic, and his oldest brother who is a bully and is walking in the footsteps of their father.
Unhappy at school and scared to be at home, Jack escapes to the beautiful wilderness near the farm. He hits his head in an accident and is left unconscious. During this time, he is secretly transported to a fascinating, wonderful and safe place called Fire Fly Valley. It is there in the magical and beautiful Fire Fly Valley where Jack meets a strange but alluring creature named, Ugo.
In Ugo and Jack, Geoff Parton has created an amazing fantasy world with strong spiritual dynamics that are directly linked to the real world. Jack learns to use it to create a much better world for him and his entire family. He learns why his father is so abusive and discovers ways to create a happier and safer world for all.
It is this aspect of the story that has its strongest appeal.
The author develops an enchanting fantasy world that at first seems like a wonderful and pleasant place for an abused child to escape to. However, as the story develops, the reader soon discovers that even the worst human behavior can be explained, and perhaps forgiven.
It seems author Geoff Parton has taken a step back and looked more closely at some terrible, real life situations. In doing so he has written an extraordinary story and narrative that will provide encouragement and strength. His book offers and explores deeper, more complex themes than most other books in its genre. In doing that, he has provided young readers with essential developmental tools that could be employed and really empower them to make changes and create a better world.
The writing style is well suited to the book’s intended audience. It is an easy read that allows the reader to enjoy and comprehend the underlying themes of the book. Without the use of complicated words or terms, children will be able to grasp the remarkable concepts and see Jack as a positive and inspiring role model and gain a greater and clearer sense of their own personal power.
This is a great book for children of various ages and who live in a wide range of areas and places. It is thought-provoking and offers teachers and parents the opportunity to discuss difficult subjects and offer concrete resolutions to issues children may be facing. As well, the adventures of Jack and Ugo are entertaining, exciting and engaging. It is destined to become a favorite for all its readers. Chick Lit Café highly recommends Ugo and Jack by Geoff Parton to all middle-graders, families, teachers and libraries