Jack lives high in the Appalachian Mountains, where he helps on the family farm and walks two miles to school. In real life, Ray Hicks (1922 - 2003) was thought to have been Jack alive. Lynn Salsi captures the real life of Ray, and the adventure tales of Jack in many of her books.
The Jack Tales have been told in the Appalachian Mountains since the 1770s. No one knows who started mixing old European stereotypical characters and adventure plots. It is known that “Jack the Giant Killer” was told in England as early as the 1400s. Other ancient tales and nursery rhymes featured a character named Jack. It is thought (by scholars) that Jack may represent the common man, because of the “common” use of the name. For certain, the Appalachian Jack is a regular hard-working young man—not from a family of wealth or prestige.
Follow the links to learn about the Jack Tales and the Hicks family legacy from Lynn Salsi an Appalachian scholar who writes about Ray Hicks and his family’s stories.
Enjoy the art by James Young illustrator of four (soon five) Jack books.