4 boys, 3 days, 1 castle.
You do the math.
It adds up to adventure, trouble and ... fries.
In "The Secret of Markree Castle," 4 young boys find themselves in a 1 castle for 3 days and the nanny who was supposed to watch over them ... flaked. "That's OK," their parents said, "They're old enough now and responsible, right?"
You can practically hear the boys' voices, "Sure, dad, we're responsible ... !" Then queue the evil background laugh and kids boiling pots of parents deep in the dungeon and ... I have to stop. It doesn't get that bad, I swear.
But you see, dear reader, this book was written together with these 4 real life boys. We had Skype calls together (2 of the boys live in Beijing, China), we shared emails and asked lots of questions (for example, "If you could have any magical power, what would it be?"). I think it's fair to say that I learned more about my boys and their 2 friends writing this book together with them than I did hanging out with them all together.
The Secret was the first book in the Markree Castle series and got the boys through the first night. This is the second book in the series and in "The Key to Markree Castle," the boys are in deeper than they thought possible, with the future of the castle in their hands.
Here is a list of bullet points of takeaways from the book.
-- 9-year old references no adult could possibly understand (or want to).
-- Soccer, fries, and a castle. What else could a few boys dream of?
-- Useless phrases in Dutch and Mandarin you can use at school to impress your friends!
-- Written with the help of real 9- and 11-year olds.
-- Parenting strategies so questionable your kids will be begging you to adopt them (the strategies, not the kids).
-- Rarely before witnessed insight into the minds of young boys on their own with no parents.
-- Study guides included on medieval castle architecture. (OK, not really.)
-- Fun for the whole family! (Depending on your family, of course.)
-- Bonus: learn the names of Donald Duck’s nephews in Dutch and Mandarin!
Available on December 17 and if Dec gets his act together, it will be complete with sketches of the 4 boys and maybe the castle!