Katie and Richard: A Tale of Wizardry
On their way to school one bright May morning, two normal American fifth graders suddenly find themselves transported to an unfamiliar and magical world. Accompanied by a mouse, who may or may not be just a mouse, Katie and Richard must try to determine why they have been brought here, and how their arrival relates to the threat looming over their new home from sinister powers once thought safely locked away. Are they this strange world's only hope for survival? Will they survive to find out? It would help if they liked each other better, and if the only wizard they believe they can trust could find a way to stop his spells from turning everything into roses. And who is that walking around inside their heads every night?
"Well done! Like Harry Potter mixed with the Wizard of Oz." -- John Sexton, former chair, Young Adult Library Services Association committee on Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
"Over-the-top good!" --Zacharias O'Bryan,author of the YA fantasy novel Spirit Thorn
5 out of 5 stars on Amazon
Excerpt from the Book
It was all over in a few seconds.
The werewolf was gone. The man they had seen when they first came into the room was on the floor in front of the sofa, face-down and very still. Katie was edging off the sofa past him. The four other members of the Group of Five had moved to the steps and were descending into the room. And Richard's flute was a total mess.
He had put what was left of the foot joint back in the case, but it would never play another note. Its silver plating had been consumed by Malvolio's spell, and in the process the tube had been smashed and flattened and bent. The pads and springs on the keys had been hurled around the room and lost, and the keys themselves looked like a gorilla had been doing finger exercises with them.
Richard wanted to cry.
Katie walked beside him as they left the room by the door opposite the bottom of the stairs. "I'm sorry about your flute," she said, looking at the floor.
"It was that or let the werewolf eat you," said Richard. "There really wasn't any choice, so you shouldn't be sorry." He forced himself to smile. "Anyway, we're even now."
"Yeah, but I just lost a book. That only cost a few dollars. Losing a flute is a whole lot worse. I hate to think what it's going to cost to replace it."
"So do I." Richard grimaced. "I hate to think what my parents are going to say when we get back."
"If we get back." Katie corrected. She fell silent. "Do you think the werewolf's dead?" she asked, after a moment.
"Malvolio says no," Richard replied. "He says only the Dark Arts kill; his kind of magic never does that. But the werewolf will sleep for several hours, and after that Malvolio thinks he won't be a werewolf anymore."
"What about the troll? Malvolio killed him."
"No, he didn't. He put him to sleep. The sun killed him."
"But he died."
"Yes. It isn't easy to sort out the differences, is it?"
"No, it isn't." Katie was silent again. Finally she said, "Richard?"
"Are we friends again?"
"I'm not sure we really stopped. Do friends always have to agree with everything their friends do?"
"I guess not. I guess friends are people who are there for you even if they're mad at you."
Richard was quiet for a time. Then he said, "You know what? My mom's a Catholic, and my dad's a Jew. They tease each other about that sometimes, but they don't argue about it any more. My dad says they're too good of friends to let religion get in the way."
"But religion's important!" protested Katie.
"Yes, it is," agreed Richard. "But I think maybe the important part about being friends isn't that you both believe the same thing. It's that you both believe in each other."
Since leaving the werewolf's den, they had been walking down a long, well-lit hallway, with the others in the party a little way ahead. Now they came to another door. The wizards and the dwarf passed through it. Richard held Katie back.
"So what happens now?" he asked.
"What happens now is that I get Lorenzo," said Katie. Her voice was quiet, but her eyes flashed. "I don't care what you think about him, Richard, even if we are friends again. He pushed me! I distinctly felt a push! He wanted the werewolf to get me."
"But he saved you, Katie! He kept the spell going that kept the werewolf away until Malvolio could spell him to sleep."
"But he pushed me first," the girl insisted. "Maybe after the rest of you noticed, he acted like he wanted to save me. But people don't push other people off ledges into werewolf's dens except when they want them to die."
"He didn't know it was a werewolf's den."
"Yes, he did. He's Grendell, and I'm going to prove it."
"I've got it figured out. I'm just waiting for a chance. You'll see." She turned away and marched through the door.