Even computers should be subjected to a good ol’ fashioned spring clean now and then – and mine just has, turning up this art + children’s novel I created about 400 years ago. Actually, it’s one in a series of five. Book one is on Amazon Kindle – looks to be either free or 77 pence – I haven’t got around yet to e-publishing the e-others in an e-reader e-format. E-yet.
It’s a reasonable read (but I’m biased, said the transistor) – fear not: Stephen King, Kathy Reichs et al – this little gem threatens not your mighty income streams.
Link to Jeremy and the Circus of Fire.
The gist (in less than 457 words, but grab a mug of tea anyway):
“Jeremy is a ten year old boy with a love for animals, which often lands him in trouble with his parents and teachers. A travelling circus comes to town, and Jeremy gets to appreciate both sides of keeping animals – what the public sees, and what can happen behind the scenes – these circus animals are under-fed, maltreated, and miserable. Each day after school he visits the animals to offer them encouragement, and a little food ‘borrowed’ from his mother’s freezer. Unknown to Jeremy, the circus people have a plan to get rid of the animals – permanently.
One day he shelters under the animal cages from a heavy rain storm, and some very unusual lightning strikes the cages. He discovers two incredible things: he can talk to some of the animals using his lightning-struck radio, and that each of the five animals in the circus can do amazing feats they couldn’t do before. For example, the tiger can change his colouring to match an object simply by placing a paw on it, and the polar bear can hypnotise people. His new friends (Charlie the baby polar bear, Ella the giraffe, Pengy the Emperor penguin, Raja the tiger, and Toot the toucan) tell him about how they were stolen from their home by the circus people. Jeremy and Annabel (his best friend) rescue the animals just as the circus is burned to the ground by the unscrupulous owners – who expect to claim a hefty insurance payout and retire for good. When the fire is investigated though, no trace of the animals is found. The circus people have one week to find the animals – or they’re in a lot of trouble!
Jeremy and Annabel are then faced with the task of finding out from where the animals originally came, and how to get them home. They discover that the animals were taken from a special kind of zoo in Canada, and then have to deal with problem after problem in reaching their goal – everything from hiding the animals from their parents, to navigating the magical ‘Colour Corridors’, to trying to do the ‘responsible’, grown-up thing with children’s resources – all while juggling schoolwork and their trying teachers. Most of all, they must overcome the underhand tactics of the circus villains, who will stop at nothing to retrieve ‘their’ animals to get the police and insurance company off their backs.
To help them, they enlist a few friends along the way – including hundreds of ducks, thousands of stick insects, and an albatross called Georgina. Everyone in the team – especially the animals with their various, newly-discovered abilities – has to draw on their skills and willpower if they are to succeed in their goal!”