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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

TCBR AWARENESS TOUR: Bradley's Dragons by Patrick Matthews - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!

Today, we're going on an adventure with The Children's Book Review as we take part in their AWARENESS TOUR featuring a work of Middle Grade Fantasy recently released via Second Story Up! It features DRAGONS, HUNTERS, MAGICAL starts, DANGER, and potential for disaster, but umm, yeah, we're gonna cross our fingers on that part and hope Bradley gets the hang of things first! Anywho, let's get this spotlight centered in on today's featured title before we "chat" with the author about "Fiction in Life"...

Second Story Up

About the book...
The Hunters are Coming...

The first time a hunter came for him, Bradley Nash was only nine years old. That was three years ago.

Now, he lives with his family in a Florida trailer park. He doesn’t remember the attack, doesn’t know anything about hunters, or dragons, or even magic.

As his twelfth birthday approaches, however, his peaceful life starts falling apart.

The hunters are coming, and if Bradley doesn’t figure out exactly who and what he is, everything he’s ever known will be destroyed.

“The novel teems with drama from the first page, and readers will be swept up by intrigue and action.” —The Children’s Book Review

~~~   GUEST POST   ~~~

Fiction in Life
by Patrick Matthews


There’s a moment in Dune, by Frank Herbert, where young Paul Atreides is given a “test of humanity.” The gom jabbar (a poison needle) is held against his neck, and he’s told to place his hand inside a box. He’s told that if he pulls his hand out of the box, the needle will kill him.


Paul puts his hand in the box, and immediately feels a searing pain that steadily increases in intensity. It is explained that a human will be able to ignore the base urge to escape the pain, and instead, follow the long-term goal of survival.


It is, by any standard, a horrible test, and one I would undoubtedly fail. The idea behind it stuck with me, though. Over and over again, I’ve found myself facing moments where I had to prioritize the long view over immediate return.


Facing an opportunity to cheat on a test? Sure, I see the advantage of getting an A, but that’s not who I am, and certainly not who I want to be. I see you, gom jabbar. You won’t jab me today. I’ll be content with whatever grade I earn.


Want to eat that chocolate cake? Of course I do, but I’m also trying to lose weight.


Stupid gom jabbar.


Countless other moments of fiction also inform my life. In any given second, I could be racing through the garden with Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, staring out at the mountains with Buck, or squaring up against a tree stump with Shane.


I think the reason these moments are so effective, the reason they take root and grow within us, is because of where they come from.


Fiction’s great secret is that the stories don’t happen on the page. They happen in the mind of the reader. The writer does everything possible to craft a compelling story, but the true magic happens as it’s being read. That’s when the writer’s story combines with the reader’s imagination.


Your imagination is a powerful thing. When something happens there, it tends to stick with you.


Let me give you an example. My first book, Dragon Run, takes place in a world run by dragons. The dragons don’t just rule the humans, they also rank them. On Testing Day, your rank is tattooed onto the back of your neck, for everyone to see.


Score a seven on Testing Day and you’re set for life. Everything will be easy for you. Get a one, and you’ll be an outcast, shunned by society and never able to get a job.

In the book, the hero comes from a family of high rank, but ends up with a low one. The reader gets to experience both those situations.


Shortly after Dragon Run was written, I was helping chaperone a class trip to St. Augustine when one of the students grabbed my hand. “Mr. Matthews,” she hissed, “look! He’s a class one.”


She was pointing to a homeless person.


While my brain tried to catch up with what was happening, she repeated herself. “He’s a class one! We have to help him.”


I do not believe this homeless person was the first one the girl had ever seen. He was, however, the first one that she’d felt a connection with. She had taken the experience of Dragon Run, internalized it, and come to a decision about how she would treat those less fortunate than herself.


That’s the heart of good fiction. Working with our imagination, it gives us moments that we can turn over and over in our heads. We can consider them from all angles, and decide how we really feel.


Children’s fiction is even more powerful, because it gives kids the chance to consider decisions before they have to make them in real life.


Picture a child in a group that is insulting and laughing at someone. This is a moment of extreme stress. Social pressures are pushing the child one way. Internal pressures are pushing another. Guilt, anger, fear, outrage, embarrassment, and the desire to please are probably all screaming for attention.


Now, imagine that the child has previously experienced that situation in a book, maybe even talked it over with parents. The emotions are all still there, but this time, they’re recognizable. The child has had the chance to consider longer term questions of character and personal responsibility.


Fiction gives us the opportunity to live lives separate from our own. It lets us safely consider ideas and opinions that may never come up, and to use them to inform and improve our own lives.


Also, it’s a ton of fun to read.


About the author...

A newspaper columnist, editor, and award-winning game designer, Patrick Matthews’ first novel was published by Scholastic in 2013. Bradley’s Dragons is his third published novel. Mr. Matthews writes fast-paced fiction that takes readers on exciting adventures but also gives them a chance to think about the world around them, to consider hard questions before they need to be answered.


Enter for a chance to win a Bradley’s Dragons prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of Bradley’s Dragons, autographed by Patrick Matthews.

  • A Dragon Suncatcher, by the Glassy Geek.

Eight (8) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of Bradley’s Dragons, autographed by Patrick Matthews.

Giveaway begins September 1, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 30, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Special thanks to Bianca at The Children's Book Review for the chance to bring this tour to you as well as the author for the special guest post.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Second Story Up, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today.  Be sure to check out the rest of the sites participating in the tour traversing the blogosphere now...

September 1

The Children's Book Review

September 2


September 3

Glass of Wine, Glass of Milk

September 4

Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom

September 7

Fairview Elementary School (Library)

September 8

Word Spelunking

September 9


September 10


September 11

Library Lady's Kid Lit

September 14

The Children's Book Review

September 15

icefairy's Treasure Chest

September 16

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

September 17

Confessions of a Book Addict

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

1 comment:

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Love stories with dragons, this sounds really good. That it would appeal to boys is a plus

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