Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 6n/a5.574015
Jack lives in a fantasy world. Really. He's the son of the infamous Jack who stole the magic beans from the giant, and he's working hard to restore his family's reputation. He finds the perfect opportunity when a "princess" lands in front of him, apparently from the land of Punk, as her Punk Princess t-shirt implies. May is from our world, and she's utterly confused to find herself in the midst of the fairy tale characters she has read about. But Jack and May have more in common than they realize--and together, they embark on a hilarious and wild adventure in this highly accessible, modern middle grade fantasy novel.

Half Upon a Time is the first book in the Half Upon a Time series.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published on September 13, 2011 by Aladdin
ISBN-10: 1416995943
ISBN-13: 9781416995944
24 Book Reviews
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  • roxanne3
    roxanne3Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 12:12 pm22 stars
    I actually didn't like this series very much. It was ok, but it is very similar to Land of Stories, which I like a lot better. I do like May a lot though :) It is funny that Philip and Jack do not understand all the modern day stuff, like cell phones!!
    • chlooe
      chlooeMonday, March 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm55 stars
      Fantasy world and Earth. What are the differences? Characters May, Phillip, and Jack are on a so-called quest to find May's grandmother: "Snow White". Of course May, Phillip, and Jack aren't really prepared to face what is ahead of them, but either way, they did agree. When May suddenly falls out of the sky and lands in front of Jack, Jack doesn't even know what to do. In Jack's world, everything was all about princesses and princes. Jack didn't know what to do because he was the son of a criminal: Jack from Jack and the beanstalk. So let's get back to how the teenagers were on a "quest". As they go on the quest, they find new allies and learn that they are also trying to find "Snow White". As you may know, this is just a review so I mustn't tell you everything that's happened in the book. I promise you that this book is great. Enjoy the book!
      • PinkFriday, February 8, 2019 at 7:46 am
        It was an awesome book I finished it in a week and a half
        • puppycups
          puppycupsTuesday, June 12, 2018 at 11:40 am55 stars
          it was awesome It took me a while to complete
          • callie_b
            callie_bSaturday, May 19, 2018 at 10:20 am44 starsFeatured
            "May sighed. 'But this isn't once upon a time. It's like the opposite... half or something.'" Jack is a normal boy living in the world of fairy tales, in a village called Giant's Hand. Well, Jack the thirteenth. Jack in the Beanstalk? That's his father. But his father has been missing for a long time, and Jack lives with his grandfather. One of the only purposes in life in Giant's Hand is to find and rescue a princess, marry, and become a powerful and rich leader. But Jack isn't doing very well in the 'rescuing a princess' department. All his teachers at school tell him so. So when a girl with a shirt that says 'Punk Princess' on it falls from a magic portal into Jack's cottage, Jack is EXTREMELY surprised. It couldn't be that easy, could it? The girl, named May, denies being a princess, though. She doesn't know where he is, says she doesn't know magic and now she's saying she's not a princess despite her obvious shirt! But May needs to find her grandmother, who Jack believes is the real Snow White, and to save her from the Wicked Queen! It's off on a quest for them, and with the help of a prince named Phillip that May and Jack meet along the way, they encounter the infamous gingerbread house of Hansel and Gretel, attempt to tame Maleficent, almost get swallowed by a giant, and more on this epic adventure! Will they find May's grandmother? Will May ever get home? Find out in this hilarious fractured fairy tale! I really enjoyed this book. James Riley writes really well from a kid's perspective, and he is so funny, and writes sarcasm well too! I could relate to the humor and that was awesome! If you like books like The Sisters Grimm or The Land of Stories, then this is the book for you! I rate it 4/5 stars and for ages 9+.
            • mybooksandi
              mybooksandiWednesday, May 31, 2017 at 5:38 am11 star
              Before anything else, this book got a DNF, (Did not finish), from me. Now, 'why' you ask, well I am a reader who likes her books FAST PACED. The plot was really slow, I was on page 145 and they were still in the INTRO. With that, Lana closed the book, and sobbed. (Well, maybe she threw the book to the wall then cried. Poor Wall). Anyway, did this book disappoint me? Yes, yes it did.
              • cdbear
                cdbearMonday, April 10, 2017 at 4:01 am55 stars
                I think that the book is really interesting because it has some funny parts and had lots of adventures that some people will interested in .
                • cloemcallister
                  cloemcallisterWednesday, August 24, 2016 at 4:47 pm55 stars
                  I love fairytales. Something about the sudden twists and turns always intrigues me. I highly recommend this book to all you dreamers out there. I certainly love it.
                  • happypug12
                    happypug12Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm33 stars
                    This is my second time reading Half Upon A Time. Same as the last time, it starts slowly. For those of you who need witches throwing exploding cherries and dragons that would randomly love to annihilate the main character right off the bat, go read Of Giants and Ice. But otherwise, read this book to the last page, as this author has been known to save the best for last. All characters are realistically portrayed, May as the frantic teen who would do basically ANYTHING to save her grandmother, Jack as the innocent guy who gets caught in the madness and has an unintentional tendency of making things worse, and Phillip as the annoying perfect guy. Mix all those people together and, well, yeah, you have an adventure that is, sooner or later, bound to go horribly, horribly wrong.
                    • mkd5
                      mkd5Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 2:51 pm44 stars
                      A perfect series, like the Land Of Stories, if you want to visit the fairytale world of your childhood.