Mariel Hemingway recommends ‘The Sceptre: A Jonster the Monster and the Bear Adventure’
What would you risk to find your mother who disappeared when you were so young you could barely remember her? That is the question Geof, the hero of The Sceptre, must ask himself.
On the outside, Geof has been handling his mother’s absence “just fine.” However, when Geof, his best friend, the girl he likes, and some other friends visit the mysterious Deernose, he tells Geof in front of them all, “Your soul torn in two pieces. Decide who you are.”
Deernose shares more information about Geof’s mother, who was dying of cancer when she disappeared, “Geof, your mother enter interior world through doorway in mountains. I think mother alive… In the interior world, you might not grow any older, so that is why your mother want to go there.” Being a teenager of high character, Geof immediately decides he is not willing to risk his friends’ lives going to “the interior world.” Since you can’t make up the mind of your friends, Geof’s friends decide to go and support Geof anyway. Deernose approves, saying, “There is no brighter light than friend.” So begins a fantastic quest!
Mariel Hemingway, author, acclaimed actress, and mental-health activist, calls The Sceptre a must for young adult fantasy fans. She describes it beautifully, saying, “Deernose leads Geof, BFF Jon, bullied Clark, and girlfriends Debbie and Pat, to a troubled but magical land filled with monsters, castles, an enchanted Indian tribe, and Uriah, the unforgettable talking dog.”
The author, B.E. Boucher, is a vegetarian dedicated to the humane treatment of all creatures, a fact that shines through in quotes like when Clark says, “Geof is the only person in the world who ever stood up for me.” And another character shares a sweet story that illustrates this belief as well, “There is an Indian legend that says that when a person dies, he is met at heaven’s gate by all the animals he met in his lifetime. How he treated those animals determines if he gets into heaven or not.”
Mariel recommends the book for “animal lovers and young people who are bullied, facing health challenges, or simply have a passion for adventure and magic.” She goes on to describe, “To succeed, five intrepid teenagers must find the giants inside themselves to overcome personal doubts with humor, courage, and camaraderie.”
Courage is needed as the teenagers are tasked with saving a place “where there are things nasty enough to destroy mankind.” The team accepts their task and goes to help save good people from an evil king. King Bu-usah’s “greed and his obsession with the Eruds caused him to destroy the forests and resources of Mu-jin to build palaces, ships, and weapons.” He treated people as slaves made to supply endless fuel needed “for the royal foundries that operated day and night to build ships and Bu-usah’s multiple palaces.”
Boucher sprinkles humor throughout the book in healthy doses. For example, when Geof and his friends meet Uriah, he asks, “Which one is the Searcher?” and Geof sheepishly answers, “I guess it’s me” Uriah drops his head and mutters, “May our queen protect us. I had hoped for a heroic warrior.”
In summary, Mariel says, “A tribute to the author’s brain cancer afflicted son, the Sceptre is an Amazon Number One Best Seller certain to entertain and excite Young Adult readers.”