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Gorinjas: The beginning (Volume 1) Paperback – November 21, 2016
From the Back Cover
When you're a young gorilla who has an unusual patch of white fur, fitting in can be tough. But when you meet a jungle legend of martial arts, things get very interesting. Follow gorillas Gonga and Jemma through a fast-paced action adventure full of danger, secret tunnels, underground surfing and valuable life lessons. But will their secret training be enough? Are they really prepared for anything?
About the Author
Mark Lancaster is a Christian, parent, survivor, martial artist, scuba diver, author and outdoor enthusiast.
He writes action adventure books for 8-12yr olds (Middle grade), and is a member of the Australian Society of Authors and the Children's Book Council of Australia.
The story in this book show how determination against bullying helps take ownership of the problem. Coupling this with hard work and facing your fears, helps find a solution to the problem, while enabling you to make new friends and enjoy unique experiences along the way.
Mark grew up in South Africa, moved to the UK for 14 years, before finally settling in sunny Australia.
Mark holds a black belt in Wado-ryu karate, one of four traditional styles from Japan that incorporates both karate and jiujitsu. He has also dabbled in other styles like Goju-ryu and Shuai Jiao (traditional Chinese wrestling). Like his main character, Mark himself has used his training to overcome some very difficult experiences in his life, including a near fatal car crash which left him partially paralyzed.
His writing began when his children asked 'tell us a made-up story, Dad!' This became a regular bedtime story request, so he began writing during work lunch breaks to keep up with their demand. His goal was always to remove the stresses of their day by stimulating their imagination and transporting them to entirely new and exciting worlds, while encouraging determination and self-confidence.
Mark has a desire to encourage reading in middle grade children, stimulating their imaginations to find the same enjoyment in action adventure stories that he enjoyed as a young boy. He firmly believes that prolific reading when growing up has immensely improved his vocabulary and command of the English language, and he wishes to encourage children to do the same.
His first book in the Goringas series encourages imaginative thought, confidence and self-esteem through relatable characters and all-too-familiar bullying scenarios.
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Top customer reviews
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Mark Lancaster's debut novel for middle-grade readers follows in this tradition and 'Gorinjas: The Beginning' has the makings of an engaging cult series for aspiring martial artists and young thrill seekers alike.
The story tells of humanoid gorillas Gonga and Jemma, the most loyal of friends, whose victimisation at the hands of school bullies spurs them on to overcome adversity. When the brave pair track down the legendary old-grey gorilla, Shintu, a martial arts master, events take an interesting turn, leading to a dramatic battle between the gorilla ninjas, a gang of bullies... and a smelly old crocodile!
Like the first instalment in any series, this debut takes time to build both in character and plot development but with a particularly strong opening and an exciting climax, the core ingredients of courage, perseverance, legend, and triumph over bullying, are all there in spades.
Gorinjas is an entertaining read and by its end I was already anticipating the next book in the series. If you know a reluctant middle-grade reader, this could be just the new adventure they've been waiting for. Why not give it a try?
They set out on a quest for help that quickly becomes quite an adventure, and I think that they are surprised by their own tenacity. I won't give anything away about the final encounter with the bullies except to say that it leaves you holding your breath and hoping for a good outcome.....