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A high-stakes quest. A magical kingdom. A boy in possession of a coveted power. This mythology-rich novel for 10+ year-olds has all the ingredients of an epic adventure. Ankido is a twelve-year-old British-Iraqi boy with a passion for words. So much so, his beloved grandmother calls him her “Word Boy”. One morning, his grandmother announces the terrible news that Ankido’s father, an eminent archaeologist, has gone missing on a field trip in Iraq. When she leaves to search for his dad, she entrusts him with a special book: “The cover was made of fine, gold-inlaid leather. The title read, The Land of Mesopo. Ankido wondered why it was so special but thought it best not to ask.” Left with his aunt and uncle, Ankido is destined to be sent to boarding school, but not before he’s forced to burn Grandmother’s special book when his aunt tries to take it from him. He knows the book is special - “When I started reading it, it felt so real. Almost as if it was calling me to step inside “ – and indeed it does turn out to be special. Rather than end up at boarding school, he finds himself in the Library of Nineveh after being pursued by “a creature of the dark” who “feeds on words. And she knows that you can make your own words.” Ankido’s quest to find his father, and to save the fantastical word-world of Mesopo as the Kingdom’s newfound Tale Smith is sharply evoked, and packed with heart-pounding peril, mysterious atmosphere and intriguing characters, among them scribes, princes and magicians.
Joanne Owen, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Twelve-year-old Ankido is on a quest to save his missing father through the magical realm of Mesopo, the land where all fantasy originates, a land whose words and language are in peril. Can Ankido save his father and restore all these words in time? It was a red velvet box, the size of a school book. Ankido lifted the lid, revealing an old-fashioned quill made out of a reed. It smelled remote and otherworldly. Ancient. And for a reason he couldn’t explain, everything felt all right for a moment. He thought he caught a sound flowing out of the quill, a word maybe. He wasn’t sure and he shook his head. This was ridiculous. No, he surely must have been mistaken. But there! There was the sound again. This time Ankido was sure of it.“Mesopo” … whispered in a way that slipped around the room like the warm breeze of the desert.
|Publication date:||19th November 2019|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical|
|Recommendations:||Indie Books We Love|
Eva Dietrich is the author of The Great Rainbow Hug (Le gros câlin arc-en-ciel, from Samir Editeur, 2011), recognized by La Revue Des Livres Pour Enfants in 2011 as their annual selection. Eva holds Masters’ Degrees in Children’s Literature from the University of Surrey, London and Creative Writing from the Metropolitan University of Manchester, UK, and is the founder and director of Aladdin Books (https://www.aladdin-books.com/). She is equal parts Spanish and German, and currently resides in Madrid with her three kids, three dogs, two cats, three rabbits and lots of hens.More About Eva Dietrich