What makes for the golden age of reading? Surely it has something to do with the child’s emerging ability to understand complex plots and complicated emotions. But it also has to do, I think, with the child’s growing desire to see and understand the world, to strike out (at least imaginatively) on his or her own, to have an adventure.
I am thrilled to be able to introduce my readers to Daniel McInerny…a dad whose creativity with his own kids transformed into magical stories that engage tweens and keep them reading. – Shadra
The Hilarious Kingdom of Patria series by Daniel McInerny
It is said that the years from eight to twelve are the “golden age” of reading–the age in which a child’s love of books reaches its full flourishing. Publishers call children in this age range the “middle grade” demographic, and it is one of the choicest targets of their marketing efforts. Many of us fondly remember, even with a certain wistful ache, the impact that certain books had on us during those years.
And it’s curious–middle grade adventures often involve a character discovering a kind of “golden” world. This is most obviously the case in so-called “high fantasy,” such as we find in Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling. But golden worlds are also present in stories that are set squarely in this world. As long as the hero or heroine finds a place of haven, a place where he or she is called upon to grow in wisdom and courage, a place where he or she can truly love and be loved, then we can talk about that story as having a golden world.
Middle grade adventures tap into our deepest longings. In showing us a golden world, they paint for us a picture of what we would hope to achieve in our own lives. And because our longing for a deeper happiness starts to become self-conscious just as we are ready for middle grade books, such stories tend to leave a burning impression upon the heart.
My name is Daniel McInerny, and I am the author of the Kingdom of Patria series: exciting, and laugh-out-loud, mysteries and adventures for middle grade readers. There are presently two books in the Patria series, Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits, and its cavity-preventing sequel, Stoop of Mastodon Meadow. Both books are available as ebooks on Amazon, barnesandnoble.com, iTunes, and Kobo. Get started by clicking here and here. The print edition of Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits is also available on Amazon by clicking here, and the print edition of Stoop of Mastodon Meadow should be available there any day. There is also an unabridged audiobook of Stout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits available by clicking here.
Like many writers of children’s stories, my apprenticeship began in a family room chair with kids on my lap as I made up a bedtime story. I vividly remember the first time I told a Patria story, sitting with my two little girls (now teenagers) in the big blue chair in our family room. They were very different stories then. Years later, as I began to write them down, the nature of the golden world of Patria changed. What began as a fantasy world, in the sense of “high fantasy,” became something “fantastical.” Patria as I re-defined it no longer was discovered in another world. Patria became part of our world–that is, given a rather whimsical take on ancient history.
A parent enjoys the privilege of experiencing the golden age of reading a second time, when his or her children fall in love with middle grade books. The experience may be personal to me, but my passion for middle grade literature became even more intense when I began to enjoy it with my children. And the most golden experience of all came about when the books I shared with them were my own.
I hope my Kingdom of Patria series can be a golden experience of fun and adventure for you and your children. Perhaps during the holidays, a Patria story can provide an occasion for you and your family to come together and enjoy a read aloud.
I also hope that together you will find pleasure in exploring the companion, interactive Kingdom of Patria website (kingdomofpatria.com), which includes free short stories in both text and audio, clubs for kids to join, character blogs, and even a downloadable map of Patria! To enjoy the golden age of middle grade literature a third time with your family would be, for me, a privilege indeed.
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Daniel McInerny is the founder and CEO of Trojan Tub Entertainment, a children’s entertainment company featuring his humorous Kingdom of Patria stories for middle grade readers. A native of South Bend, Indiana, he holds a PhD in philosophy and taught for many years at various universities in the United States. He now lives in Virginia with his wife Amy and three children, Lucy, Rita, and Francis. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fans can like the Trojan Tub Entertainment Facebook page by clicking here. You can also stay abreast of the news from Patria by joining the Trojan Tub Entertainment email list, either by clicking the “Join My List” button on the Kingdom of Patria homepage, on the Trojan Tub Entertainment Facebook page, or by sending your name and preferred email address to email@example.com.
And what’s up with the name, Trojan Tub Entertainment? Click here to find out!