It's my priviledge to have author Peter Adler, writing as A.R. Silverberry, visiting me today as he shares his wisdom via a guest post he's written just for us! So without further ado, please grab the beverage of your choice and pull up a chair!

                    The Gift That Lasts
                

With all the bright, flashing lights; the latest, super deluxe transforming creatures; the latest aps, the latest gaming platforms, these days, there’s a lot competing for a child’s attention. The pressure on both children and parents is to keep up with the latest trend. These must-haves are on everyone’s Christmas list, but who hasn’t seen them lying abandoned an hour after they’re opened?

Buy them, we must. But I say, also give the gift that opens up new worlds, opens up the imagination, and shows children that the impossible is possible. Give the gift of courage. Give the gift of inspiration. Give the gift that educates. Gift the gift that will stay with a child through out their life. Give the gift of magic. I am, of course, talking about books, for books do all these things, and more. 

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Cicero

While the latest fad fades, the stories we’ve read stay inside us, never to be forgotten. Who will forget Bilbo Baggins, Long John Silver, or Scout? Who will forget Elizabeth Bennet, Edward Rochester, or Oliver Twist? They live inside us. Tapping into the universal emotions of the human condition, their stories weave into our lives and become, in some small way, our story.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
Groucho Marx

The first book I remember seeing, The Way of the Whirlwind, my parents purchased for my brother and me before we were born. The story was about two Australian bush children, Jungaree and Nungaree, searching for their baby brother, who trickster Whirlwind stole. The illustrations were stunning, and the one where the crocodile dives with the two children on his back, seemed to sparkle with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds.

Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Stephen King, On Writing

Years later, when I looked at that illustration, it was still beautiful, but nowhere near as dazzling as my child brain had made it. The colors were there, but not the sparkling precious stones. Those were a product of my imagination. And that’s the point. Children use their imagination, making the world in books the world they want and need. Princesses are as courageous, princes as handsome, witches as sinister, knights as valiant, and giants are as frightening and gruesome as we need them to be. While my toys were cast aside, the fairy tales, myths, and novels of my youth were read and reread until they were dog-eared.

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
Neil Gaiman, Coraline

So amid the glitz, the flashing lights, the pressures, the hustle and bustle, the fads, buy the greatest gift for a child: buy a book. Sip eggnog, throw a log on the fire, and sink together into a rousing novel. Books help makes us what we will become. Give imagination, give courage, give inspiration. Give the gift that lasts.

One must always be careful of books . . . and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

“A magical tale . . . chock full of everything a great fantasy novel needs; dashing young men, adventures galore, treachery, love and intrigue . . . I highly recommend this book for pre-teens and young adults . . . The fact that there are two strong, capable female main characters makes it exceptionally appropriate for girls this age.”  Thesupermom.com, Review of Wyndano’s Cloak, by Karlynn Johnston

About the Author:

A. R. Silverberry has won a dozen awards, including Gold Medal Winner in the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Awards for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction; Gold Medal Winner in the 2010 Readers Favorite Awards for Preteen Fiction; and Silver Medal Winner 2011 in the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book, Children’s/Young Adult. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. Wyndano’s Cloak is his first novel. Follow him at the links below!

Wyndano’s Cloak Synopsis:

Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears—of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever.

She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen’s family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning.

Wyndano’s Cloak may be Jen’s only hope. If she’s got what it takes to use it . . . 

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