THE JACKS, THE BALL, THE GAMES, THE CHALLENGE
Here's everything you need to play one of the world's oldest games. Learn to toss, scatter, and flip. aster the Flying Dutchman. Call "Overs!," holler "Haystacks!," add a thumber for real difficulty. Bring in some friends and go from Onesies and Twosies to Forty-sixies! Be a true jackspert!
About the Author
Sally Chabert is co-author of Presidential Wit & Wisdom, Celebrate America, and The Cocktail Hour. Her life-long love of Jacks is now shared with her husband and two children. She lives outside Boston.
Read an Excerpt
From the Introduction
Jacks is an amazing game. It's been played by millions of people, over thousands of years, in every part of the world. So what's the catch? Why is is so popular? It's because the game is so simple and so rewarding.
Jacks is a series of challenges. When you master one challenge, you can smile, feel good, and move on to the next level; if you mess up, you can start over and keep playing until you get it right.
It's an encouraging and engaging concept: Challenge, play, success; challenge, play, success; challenge, play, success.
It's also a very enduring concept. Archaeologists believe that about 20,000 years ago, Cro-Magnon boys and girls (and their parents) were pretty good players. Not only was it a fun way to relax after a long day of hunting and gathering, it was probably a great way for them to improve hand-eye coordination.
Your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents probably played some version of Jacks when they were kids. But they may have called the game something different, like Jackstones, Fivestones, or Dibs. And instead of the pronged metal jacks you have, they may have used stones, seeds, cloth bags filled with rise or beans, or even the bones of animals.
Ask your relatives about Jacks. Or better yet, invite them to play a game or two with you. They may have some long-forgotten tricks to show off and some great stories to share. And it's always fascinating to hear bout being a kid in a different time and a different place, right?
With this book you can play all of the current and historical variations within the Jacks family of games. You'll play some of the games with a ball and others without. You can play with the jacks that come with this book, or you can play with stones, fake knucklebones (recipe included, page 168), lite cloth sacks filled with rice, seeds, or beans (instructions included, page 148), or real knucklebones (recipe included, page 171).
You can play many of the games by yourself or with others (some games are best played with four or five players). You can organize a neighborhood or school Jacks tournament and get lots of friends, classmates, even teachers and parents involved.
One of the great things about Jacks is that you don't need a lot of equipment or much space to play. You can play indoors on a smooth floor or outside on a smooth surface like cement.
You can carry the jacks around in your pocket or toss them in your backpack. You can play by yourself on a rainy day or with your friends at recess. You don't need to take lessons or wear special gear (no helmets required!). Jacks is cheap, portable, easy to learn, and, or course, really fun!
And best of all, since almost every kid in the world can play at least one of the Jacks games in this book, you can play with a new friend no matter where you live, no matter where in the world you might visit, and no matter what languages are being spoken. Jacks is the United Nations of games. END
Table of Contents
Jacks Family Tree
Other Jacks Stuff
Index of Games