The best-selling Pendragon series of novels for young people takes on appealing themes: instantaneous travel through time and space, an epic battle of good versus evil, the mystery of discovering one's true calling. And on top of that, the teenage protagonists get to band together in an effort to save the entire realm of Halla; it certainly beats junior high. So it's no wonder that D. J. MacHale's books have attracted a huge following of young readers eager to find out whether Bobby Pendragon will ever know why his family has vanished without a trace.
The latest installment of the saga, Pendragon Book Nine: Raven Rise, hits shelves on May 20. According to MacHale's publicist Kate Smyth, the new work is "top-secret as far as plot twists and teasers," but the book's press release does suggest that this penultimate book in the Pendragon series will turn the adventure up a notch, with the start of "the final showdown for all that ever was or will be."
Eager readers can hear about the showdown straight from the author's mouth just one day after the book is released. MacHale will be appearing at the Kingston Barnes and Noble, offering fans the opportunity to experience the tale told aloud by the author. He will also sign copies of the new book, discuss his writing process and the story of how he became a writer and entertain questions from the audience.
"I'm thrilled that we'll be able to have him just after his book is released," says Barnes and Noble's Community Relations manager, Carol Scalzo. "We'll be the first store to get the word out." Prior to the in-store appearance, MacHale - who produced and directed the TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective - will be traveling to three local middle and elementary schools. There he will speak to students about the books and his experiences becoming a best-selling author. Signed copies of the book will be for sale at these events as well.
D. J. MacHale appears at the Kingston Barnes and Noble on Wednesday, May 21 at 6 p.m. For more information on the Pendragon series, check out www.thependragonadventure.com.