April 05, 2006

The next J.K. Rowling is from Edmonton

(thanks to Kelly at Big A little a who reminded me I had this languishing in my drafts folder)

Well, sort of, by way of Oxford.

I saw a story on the news several weeks ago, and looking for more information found an online article, no longer up, at the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, "From shy kid to next J.K. Rowling? Canuck author explodes onto kidlit scene" (try this, though, from CTV). It was about former Edmontonian Mathew Skelton, whose book, Endymion Spring, has just been published by Puffin Books. It's about a young boy who, while running his hand along the shelves of some ancient books in Oxford's Bodleian Library, pricks his finger on the clasp of a medieval book; and, according to the Puffin website,
The paper quivers, as if it's alive. And as Blake looks, words begin to appear on the page - words meant only for him; words no one else can see. The book has been waiting five-hundred years for the right boy; now it must fulfill its destiny . . .
The other half of the book takes place in medieval Mainz, Germany, home of Gutenberg, and is about the sacrifices his printer's apprentice, Endymion Spring, makes to keep the magical book from falling into the wrong hands. Not surprisingly (and I actually mean this in a nice way), it was while reading a Harry Potter book that Skelton was inspired to try his hand at writing his own tale. Equally unsurprisingly, the book proved very popular with publishers, trying to snap up the rights, and Warner Brothers.

The book is out this month in the UK, here in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and hits the U.S. in August. Great good luck to Mr. Skelton, and we'll keep our eyes peeled.

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