Clumsy, eleven-year-old Jack Barrellbottom, or Jonathan Stout Barellbottem III, leaves the Brownstone where he lives with his mother and stodgy, disagreeable Aunt Melba to visit his grandfather (his father’s father) after receiving a quite peculiar invitation. Not having known he had a grandfather, he was hesitant yet excited as his aunt and his mother, Bettina, whisked him away to the mansion where his grandfather lived in a town called Kasko.
Jack’s grandfather was the now eccentric, 108-year-old Sir Jonathan Stout Barrellbottom — his father being Jonathan (Jon) Stout Barrellbottom II. A world explorer like Sir Jonathan, he disappeared while trekking through a faraway land when Jack was just three. Bullied in school, Jack was a small — though round in the bottom, timid child enamored with artifacts he would uncover in a local junk store called Fumblebee’s. His mother let him spend afternoons there because Mr. Fumblebee himself was his only friend.
When Jack, his aunt, and his mother arrived at Sir Jonathan’s vast estate, he became enthralled with the tall, expansive mansion looming over him as any trepidation he might have had gave way to intense curiosity. Outside the mansion was a grand but unkempt statue named Oceanus, a body of water shimmering beyond a sprawling field, a boat through which an old Oak tree had grown — lifting it into the air, and most impressive, the great “Mount Olegwasi”. Inside the mansion was a plethora of taxidermy from
Sir Jonathan’s worldly conquests in a great room and a grand stair case leading to quarters with dusty sketch books, old photographs of distant travels, and glass cases exhibiting poisonous though shriveled up amphibians. Lest anyone forget, roaming indoors and
And unimaginable they were. Jack could not have anticipated the excursions he would take beyond his grandfather’s estate to dubious locations in Africa, the Sahara Desert, the Amazon, and Australia using the most empowering relic he would find yet. In his grandfather’s attic, he discovered a coin that would elongate into a telescope through which he would see and find himself in these implausible places. The challenges on the different terrains and in the skies high above them — where he did everything from swing from vines above treacherous waters to jump from an airplane — proved Jack to be mightier than he ever thought. He faced and conquered fears with every native beast he encountered, from a wild boar, to a ferocious tiger, to an anaconda eager that entwines Jack. Jack also could not have imagined the unlikely but faithful, life-long friend he would make; just a child herself, she would save his life in the Sahara desert and accompany him on the rest his journeys, even when he would return to his grandfather’s estate. Jack learned that he was brave, capable, and worthy of profound friendship.
out was the one-eyed cat named Morpheus. So, when Sir Jonathan extended the invitation for Jack to spend the summer, the answer was easy. Jack had thought the opportunities to explore at Fumblebee’s were countless. Exploration inside and
outside of the mansion
in Kasko, however,
would be inconceivable!