A wonderful adventure for everyone from middle graders to adults!
Jack Sawyer is a skinny boy, undersized, and as graceful as a giraffe on roller skates. Unnoticed by everyone at Stoneybrook Middle School, except for a trio of bullies and a few fellow misfits, Jack trudges through the school year like it’s a prison sentence.
Jack knows many things, like the names of all the state capitals and how to tell an agate from a plain old rock. But there’s much he doesn’t know. For example, he doesn’t know how to shoot sparks by snapping his fingers or ride a galloping horse through the mud and over fences. And he really doesn’t know how to hurl a spear, wield a sword, or track mythical creatures through a magical forest.
But that all changes when one day he discovers he can somehow levitate a basketball and send it flying around the school gymnasium. That’s when he feels the Quickening, and with it a whole new world opens up for him. To harness his new abilities, Jack must go to Ranger Academy in a magical place called the Midwald where he spends the whole summer concocting potions, racing horses, tracking fierce creatures, and battling monsters.
It will be the summer of a lifetime – if he survives!
Targeted Age Group:: 9-14
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote Ranger Academy with my own children in mind. They are avid readers and gobbled up books like Harry Potter, the Redwall series, Percy Jackson, and The Hobbit at an early age. Yet, even with so many print and electronic books available today, we started running out of books that combined adventure, humor, and fantasy they enjoyed so much. I began outlining Ranger Academy in the summer of 2022 and quickly discovered how much fun writing a coming-of-age adventure story can be. I had written adult science fiction, but writing for young people allowed me to look at storytelling from a fresh perspective through the eyes of a child. Furthermore, as I wrote, I wove in more and more of my most cherished childhood memories, particularly my experiences as a Boy Scout at summer camp where we hiked, camped, and learned all sorts of great skills. When I finished, I’d written a book my children and I both enjoyed very much. Hopefully, you and the children in your life will too!
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