Featured Book of the Week # 4 The Youngest Templar: The Keeper of the Grail by Michael Spradlin

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

 Featured Book of The Week

1191 A.D. The orphan Tristan has joined the Knights Templar as a squire, journeying with Richard the Lionheart on his crusade to free the Holy Land from the Saracens. As defeat looms near, Tristan is entrusted with the most sacred of Christian relics, the Holy Grail. He must return it safely to Britain, but he must also keep it secret, because the Grailas power will drive men to madness, and even his fellow Knights Templar will kill for it.

Tristan teams up with the fiery Robard Hodea returning to his home in Sherwood after serving with the Kingas Archersaand Maryam, an equally fierce girl and a member of the dreaded Hashshashin. Together they must escape the Holy Land, dodging bandits, the forces of the Saladin, and unscrupulous knights who will stop at nothing to possess the Grail. (Publishers summary from Powell's Books)

Guest Post From Michael Spradlin

Hello Book Battlers!

This is celebrated author Michael P. Spradlin, coming to you live, from a secret, hidden location somewhere in Michigan, not too far from Detroit but nowhere near Canada. (I cannot reveal my exact location, because, HELLO! We’re in a Book Battle!) I am the author of The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail and many other spectacular books that you should all read because they are fun, will make you smarter and are guaranteed to grow hair on your heads.

Who makes me a celebrated author you might ask? Well, my mother for one. And my sisters. And my wife sometimes. Even my children. But in truth, it is you the readers who enjoy my books so much and write to me telling me how much you love them. I have received your letters from the United States and other countries, so my sincerest thanks to both of you.

Why am I writing to you today? As you are in the middle of a Book Battle and probably don’t have time to read this, what with the books flying around? By the way, here comes The Complete Works of Shakespeare! DUCK! Whew! That was close.

I am here because I think any activity promoting reading, even if it is a Battle With Books is a great idea and I hope most, if not all of you, will choose to read my book The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail during the quieter times of the battle. I think you will find it to be a fast-paced, full of action and adventure read, with lots of action and adventure and fast pacing. There are sword fights, dungeons, a really handsome archer, an incredibly beautiful warrior girl, narrow escapes, evil Knights, good Knights, a small dog, stuff blowing up, a small dog, good Knights, Evil Knights, narrow escapes, an incredibly beautiful warrior girl, a handsome archer, dungeons, and sword fights. Plus there is a hidden pie. And anyone who finds the hidden pie and emails me with the correct location of said hidden pie will get a thank you email back, after I find and eat the pie.

I think a Book Battle is a great idea. And that is because I once heard somewhere that Reading is Fundamental and you know what? It is. Kids like you who read more books will do better in school, have better cafeteria food, and get better deals at the mall.  Scientists have proven that kids, who read, spend less time watching television and video games because they are busy reading.

If you’re a boy, let me tell you a secret: hundreds of studies have shown that girls your age think guys who read (The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail) at least 50 books a year are much ‘dreamier’ than guys who don’t read. If you’re a girl, let me tell you another secret: hundreds of studies have shown that guys your age think girls who read (The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail) 50 books a year are 97,467% cuter than girls who don’t read. So there you have it. And you can’t argue with me because, you know: Science.

Enjoy your book battle. It’s much more fun than a cotton ball battle. But wear a helmet. With all the books flying around while the battle rages you can never be too careful. And bring a light jacket because it can get cool this time of year. But battle hard. Read lots of books, and start with The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you should happen to get a paper cut, because those things can really sting.

Have a good battle!
Michael P. Spradlin
The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail

More About Michael Spradlin

Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children, some of which have actually been published. He grew up in a small town in Michigan not far from the Indiana border, which may explain his irrational fear of Hoosiers. (Both the inhabitants of the state of Indiana and the movie starring Gene Hackman).

Surrounded by books in his formative years, he grew up loving to read, imagining himself the hero of numerous epic battles and indulging in his favorite pastime, which was smuggling fireworks across the Ohio border so that he could blow up his collection of Plastic Green Army Men and Matchbox Cars.

His first book for children, The Legend of Blue Jacket, was called by School Library Journal "a well-researched labor of love." His first novel, Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop, was a 2006 Edgar Award nominee by the Mystery Writers of America for Best Young Adult Mystery. The second book in the series, Spy Goddess: To Hawaii, With Love, was given a starred review by VOYA. His newest project is The Youngest Templar Trilogy. The first book The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail was published by G.P. Putnam Sons in September 2008. An international sensation, rights to The Youngest Templar have sold in ten countries, and it is also available as an audio edition from Listening Library. The second book in the trilogy The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate was released in October, 2009 and called by School Library Journal 'brilliant' and 'riveting'. The third book The Youngest Templar: Orphan of Destiny will be released in fall 2010.

Michael's first book for grownups It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Zombies, was a five week New York Times Bestseller. Published in fall 2009, the book recieved raves from The New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun and many other media outlets.
Michael is also the author of several picture books including the award-winning Daniel Boone’s Great Escape. Check the Coming Soon page for all of the latest updates on his new books including Baseball From A to Z and Off Like the Wind: The First Ride Of The Pony Express, both of which will be published in spring 2010.
Upcoming projects include a novel called The Raven's Shadow which will be published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2011. The Raven's Shadow is set in Washington DC in 1825 and features a teen age Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Edgar Allan Poe who must band together to defeat an evil the modern world will come to know as Count Dracula. Teaming up with illustrator Ard Hoyt again, Michael will publish The Inch High Samurai, a retelling of a Japanese Folk Tale which will also be published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2012.

When not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with his family and worrying over the fact that he really should be writing instead of doing other stuff. He lives in Michigan with his wife Kelly, son Michael, daughter Rachel and two dogs Willow and Apollo. 
(author bio and picture from Author's website www.michaelspradlin.com)
Thanks so much Michael for taking time out of your busy schedule to pay us a visit.

3 Delicious Comments:

Ms. Rasmussen said...

I am so excited to be talking to a real author! My son nagged me until I started this book and it is such a great read - my favorite era! Mr. Spradlin, thanks for your great post and thanks more for your great book. You rock!
Diana Rasmussen
Librarian, Holman Middle School

The Informant said...

Hi Ms. Rasmussen,
Thank you so much for your very kind comment. I just have to tell you that I love all librarians, but I love Missouri Librarians the most. I have never had so many wonderful librarians embrace my books the way the librarians of Missouri have. I just attended the Children's Literature Festival of the Ozarks last weekend and had a wonderful time. I'll be attending the UCM Children's Lit Fest in Warrensburg in March and last year I was invited to the Lit Fest at Truman State. I'm just so grateful to everyone in Missouri who have done nothing but 'Show Me' kindness after kindness. Thank you for your support and I hope you'll enjoy the next Templar books as well.
Michael P. Spradlin

Anonymous said...

i liked this book, but i wish it wasn't a secquel!!

Design by Use Your Imagination Designs All images from the Keeper Of Time kit by Studio Gypsy