It’s always helpful and encouraging to find inspiring stories for your kids to read. It’s even better when there’s an inspiring story behind the inspiring story.
This is the case with the book that’s been named “Children’s Book of the Year” by WORLD magazine.
First, a little background: WORLD has published a summer book issue for some time now, but this is the first year they’ve chosen a Children’s Book of the Year. In awarding this title, they considered a large number of books aimed at middle-grade readers (ages 10 to 12). They looked at a wide variety of fiction from both Christian and non-Christian writers, and finally awarded the prize to “The Warden and the Wolf King” by Andrew Peterson, from Rabbit Room Press.
“The Warden and the Wolf King” is the fourth and final volume in Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga. We at BreakPoint have a bit of a history with this series—we gave the first volume, “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness,” a positive review on our Youth Reads web page, back in 2011.
As WORLD puts it: “The series tracks the quest of Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli Igiby as they uncover their destiny by means of a secret map, a tragic history, and a nameless villain.” Peterson’s blend of fantasy, action, suspense, quirky humor, and faith-based themes was a perfect recipe for capturing the attention of a young audience—especially those with fond memories of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings.
But despite the merits of Peterson’s series, and its success with readers, “The Warden and the Wolf King” almost didn’t get published. Peterson had to raise the money for its publication himself—and wound up running “the most successful fiction campaign in Kickstarter’s history.”
Folks, as an author myself, my hat is off to Peterson.
I’ll let Janie B. Cheaney over at WORLD tell you why “The Warden and the Wolf King” won this year’s prize:
“The Warden and the Wolf King is long for a children’s book, 519 pages, but its characters draw in readers and keep them involved. The narrative flows in a conversational yet elegant style that’s perfect for reading aloud, and it rises to an unpredictable conclusion that both satisfies and inspires.”
One of my BreakPoint colleagues, Gina Dalfonzo, served on the selection committee this year. Here’s what she had to say about Andrew Peterson’s book: “I very much enjoyed Peterson's action-adventure fantasy— the final entry in his Wingfeather Saga
—which was by turns creepy, funny, exciting, and deeply moving.”
From novel that almost didn’t happen, to Book of the Year. While I hesitate to use the term “little” for a book that’s 519 pages long, there’s no doubt that “The Warden and the Wolf King” is the Little Novel That Could.
You can go to our site, BreakPoint.org, to read more about “The Warden and the Wolf King,” and find out how to buy the series for the young reader in your life. Also, you can read about the runners-up and honorable mentions in WORLD’s contest.
Altogether there are nine books recommended—with something for everyone, from a verse novel about basketball and fatherly love, to a medieval fairy tale, to a story of Hurricane Katrina, and more.
And while you’re at BreakPoint.org, check out our Youth Reads section. You can sign up for our Youth Reads e-newsletter, which will give recommendations and reviews all year long of the best books out there for young people.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Publication date: August 14, 2014