I met Jeanne in online writers' groups. I love her passion for educating children about endangered wildlife, and she does it the fun way. We became friends after she donated her short story for my Read for Animals project.
Her absolutely amazing book for middle grade children is filled with profound lessons of loyalty, friendship, tolerance and dedication to a cause, she delivers a fantasy filled with excitement and unforgettable characters. It is truly an exciting journey, populated by fascinating beings.
The Sword of Demelza by J.E. Rogers
An Australian Fantasy Animal Adventure
In this entertaining debut, J.E. Rogers uses her love of Australian wildlife to deliver a rousing Redwallesque fantasy, in which a coalition of creatures embarks on an epic quest. Erik and Emma, kowari siblings, must gather the ingredients to brew a potion to save their mother, who is dying from the bite of a brown snake. They are sidetracked when they meet Devon, a red fox looking to avenge the deaths of the Bilby monks who raised him from childhood; this brings them into alliance with a rebel army amassed against the tyrannical King Cynric and his vicious thylacine enforcer, Flitch. The story contains many moral lessons, which are woven subtly within it. Lessons like dedication to a cause, honor to ones’ home and family, and the belief that a diverse group of people/animals can come together, put their differences aside and make a change for the better.
While the element of good vs. evil is familiar, the author gives it a twist with her use of exotic and often endangered species, crafting an adventure that fits right in the anthropomorphic animal fantasy mold. The story is accompanied by a number of finely detailed pencil illustrations by Guy Atherfold and William Hulbert, which help bring the odd creatures to life and allow readers to properly envision sword-wielding marsupials and wombat-riding warriors. The book is perfect for readers aged 6–12.
The Sword of Demelza, is unusual in its storytelling, as well as its content. The book familiarizes young readers with endangered animals by going one step beyond the story. A glossary at the back of the book provides well-researched information about the flora and fauna found within the story. Particular attention has been made to provide accurate status of the animals as set forth by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). At the end of the glossary is a note written by the author that explains how and why Australia is so different, noting, in particular, the geological development of the continent.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
I read this book and here is my review:
"Although this wonderful adventure was written for middle-grade children, I bought and read the book, because I know, and enjoy the author’s amazing writing style. I absolutely loved the story and the illustrations that bring the young reader closer to the characters are great. The author is very cleverly, without sounding educational, introducing Australian wildlife to children with amazingly well-developed characters and fascinating, adventure filled story-line. The scenes are vividly described, and the characters are easy to relate to. My favorites were Erika and Emma, the two young marsupials that tried to find the flower that could save their mother. They come across an orphaned fox named Devon, and together; they face danger, meet very scary creatures, and join forces to bring peace to their land. The story, although it is a fun fantasy adventure, it teaches children about true friendship, tolerance, the importance of family and dedication to a good cause. I can highly recommend it to middle-grade children, but reading it with their parents and grandparents could make a great family time together as well."
ACCOLADES FOR THE SWORD OF DEMELZA
WINNER! WRITER’S DIGEST Honorable Mention –2013 eBook Awards
“Beyond excellent, from the terrific illustrations on the cover and throughout the book, so well-placed by the author to convey the characters’ depth in plot.”
Judge, Writer’s Digest eBook Awards 2013
BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST – ForeWord Reviews
“Told in crisp, page-turning prose, readers of all ages will find this to be an engaging novel built around a framework of moral guidance.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “In this entertaining debut, Rogers uses her love of Australian wildlife to deliver a rousing Redwallesque fantasy, in which a coalition of creatures embarks on an epic quest.”
WINNER! BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DIGITAL GOLD HONOREE!
“There are a number of books with anthropomorphized animals, but there is no other book quite like this one. The Sword of Demelza, is unlike any anthropomorphized animal story on the market today.” Benjamin Franklin Awards
J.E. Rogers is an award-winning author dedicated to teaching young people about the plight of endangered animals around the world. She does this via her middle grade fantasies, short stories, and her blog. Through her wildly imagined tales, she hopes to spark an interest, not just in reading, but in the fragility of the environment and the part, for good or bad, that people play in it. She manages to create a blog post once a week about a fascinating or endangered animal. Her blog is aimed at young people and is currently being used as a teaching tool in several classrooms. Ms. Rogers also presents a PowerPoint on Australia in local libraries. Her presentation highlights the unusual flora and fauna of the country, and explains just how life on the seventh largest continent came to be so different. She lives in Connecticut with her family, a standard poodle named Phoebe, and a cantankerous cat named Libby.
The Sword of Demelza, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.
A signed copy can be obtained by directly contacting the author at: Jeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Jeanne and her passion at:
Some illustrations from the book
Author of urban fantasy, Alternative Healing and children's books
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