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Braver: A Wombat's Tale Hardcover – June 23, 2020
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"Richly imagined, tightly woven, and deliciously nuanced...Engrossing and engaging―a fabulous hero’s quest." -- Kirkus, starred review
"A terrifically engaging tale filled with suspense and silliness....A page-turner that still manages to impart lessons in the joy of unexpected friendships, the strength of familial bonds, and the satisfaction that can come from embracing your truest self." -- Booklist, starred review
"Move over Redwall and Watership Down. There's a new classic in town!" -- Bobbie Pyron, award-winning author of A Dog's Way Home and Stay
“I would go live in a swamp if it meant I got to spend more time with this endearing and heroic cast of characters. You’ll root hard for Lola and her unforgettable animal friends.” – Eliot Schrefer, New York Times-bestselling author of The Lost Rainforest series
Praise for Wish Upon a Sleepover:
"Sure to be a crowd pleaser." ―Booklist
"A good book on empathy and friendship." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Chock full of quirky details... a light-hearted, affirming read." ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A delightfully funny, relatable tale." ―School Library Journal
"Huzzah for Suzanne Selfors! By turns humorous and poignant, this terrific book was impossible to put down."
―Suzanne Williams, co-author of the Goddess Girls series
Fortune's Magic Farm:
“Fortune’s Magic Farm is a love apple for all readers, delicious and magical.”
―Grace Lin, Newbery Honor author of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
“Beautiful writing, quirky characters, and an imaginative plot...make this a good choice.” ―Booklist
“Readers will cozy up to the tale’s quirky characters and enjoy the many twists and turns of this magical adventure.” ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Walker Ranson studied engineering at Gonzaga University, worked as a pizza chef and grocery stocker before finally admitting to his family and friends that what he really wanted to do was to be a writer. Braver: A Wombat's Tale, is his first published novel. Walker currently works at an independent bookstore and is writing his next book.
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Lola is a wombat unlike most in her community. Instead of being shy and quiet, Lola always has questions and wants to explore. One day while exploring, a band of Tassie devils kidnaps her family and neighbors. Lola must be brave to save her family and friends. She has many adventures and meets many of the critters on Tassie Island. The characters have much personality and unexpected happenings keep the reader engaged and wanting to keep reading to find out how events resolve. This story is perfect for kids who like adventuring and rich language.
Lola Budge may look like an average bare-nosed wombat, but her love for conversation, stories, adventure, and helping others set her apart from most wombats. Unhappy with her quiet, stable life, Lola sneaks out of her burrow and by accident meets a messenger platypus, who delivers a secret message, “T.B is ready”. Puzzled by its meaning, Lola returns to the village to discover that Tassie Devils have captured the village of wombats, including her family. With Her mother’s last words, “Find your uncle, He’ll know what to do,” she begins a hero’s journey to the royal city of Dore to rescue them. Joined by Melvin, a well-groomed swamp rat that sells beauty products, and Blue, a rescued baby penguin, Lola begins a dangerous journey of infested swamps, evil predators, royal corruption, family traitors, and unexpected friendships, because she knows, “The best stories come with the least expected heroes.”
Adults will appreciate the warning in the credits: “Proclamation from the Royal Librarian of Dore: All creatures take heed, / A warning indeed, / Whether feather or fur, / Web-footed or spur, / If you steal a book / The predators will look, / FOR YOU.” Kids will enjoy this classic in the making with its adorable little Blue, the one-winged firehawk that flies a hot-air balloon, and the laugh-out-loud dialogue.
Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Friendship, Humor
As a teacher, I liked how the book pairs well with character traits, main ideas, plot (especially the climax), and use of descriptive words.
The story's rising actions kicks off almost immediately, so any reader would be interested right away!