Jack Fortune and the Search for the Hidden Valley
By Sue Purkiss
Age range: 9–11; Book Band Y5/P6 Grey A
An orphan child full of mischief, Jack lives with his crotchety widow aunt in eighteenth-century England. His naughtiness knows no limits, and when one day he goes a step too far, Aunt Constance decides that she’s had enough: from now on, his bachelor uncle can take care of him. Uncle Edmund is in no way prepared for a boy with boundless energy and an impish streak – and anyway, he’s off to the Himalayas to search for rare plants! But Aunt Constance is absolutely determined, and Jack’s uncle has no choice – he will have to take the boy with him.
What follows is a terrific adventure that will see Jack and his uncle – the most unlikely of all expedition teams – sail to India, cross the jungle and reach their mountainous destination, before returning to London to present their findings to the Royal Society. Along the way, Jack will finally come to terms with the great loss that has blighted his childhood years and discover, quite unexpectedly, that he and his late father have much in common.
Fancy a Jack-inspired adventure of your own? Download and print the free Jack Fortune Activity Book now!
Teachers’ notes can be found here.
I liked Jack Fortune and the Search for the Hidden Valley very much because, despite the difficulties Jack and his Uncle face, the adventure is a positive and hopeful experience and one that might encourage children to look beyond everyday life and issues in school and out into a wider world.
Awfully Big Reviews
It’s an exciting adventure with an unusual background, an insightful look into a boy’s life and an interesting piece of history.
Parents in Touch
Alongside her career as a children’s book writer, Sue Purkiss – a former educator and RLF Fellow – teaches creative writing and is very involved with the Scattered Authors Society. She lives in Bristol and enjoys drawing and singing in a choir.