Alan Cumyn is the author of several wide-ranging and often wildly different novels. A two-time winner of the Ottawa Book Award, he has also had work shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, and the Trillium Award. He teaches through the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a past Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada. He lives in Ontario, Canada.
Battlesaurus reimagines the 1815 Battle of Waterloo as something other than a crushing defeat for the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte, when he unleashes a terrible secret weapon—giant carnivorous survivors from pre-history—on his unsuspecting British and Prussian adversaries. In this world, smaller “saurs” are an everyday danger in the forests of Europe, and the Americas are a forbidden zone roamed by the largest and most deadly animals ever to walk the earth. But in his quest for power, Napoléon has found a way to turn these giant dinosaurs into nineteenth-century weapons of mass destruction. Only Willem Verheyen, an outsider living in hiding in the tiny village of Gaillemarde, has the power to ruin the tyrant’s plans. And Napoléon will stop at nothing to find him.
War is coming, and young Willem is no longer safe, for Gaillemarde is just a stone’s throw from the fields of Waterloo—fields which will soon run red with blood. Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo by Brian Falkner is the first in a thrilling alternate historical fantasy duology, which concludes with the sequel, Battlesaurus: Clash of Empires.
“Part historical fiction, part dinosaur fantasy mash-up, this book will appeal to history buffs and dinosaur fanatics alike. The battle scenes between Napoléon's army and the British are depicted in incredible detail, making readers feel as if they are right in the midst of the fight . . . The first of a promising duology that readers will find thrilling and positively addicting.” —School Library Journal
“This alternative history asks, what if Napoléon won the battle at Waterloo . . . The novel quickly ramps up to suspense, immersing the reader in the swiftly moving plot. Characters are very well drawn, capturing the reader's sympathy. With an ending wide open for a sequel, complete with a plot-thickening cliff-hanger, one can only hope that Falkner is a swift writer.” —Booklist
Owen Skye is skinny and quiet and has big ears. He does everything (just about) his older brother, Andy, says, while trying to stay one step ahead of little brother Leonard, who has now started school and is becoming smart at an alarming pace. The Skye brothers live in a small rural village with their parents and weird Uncle Lorne, an eccentric and painfully shy bachelor who sleeps on a cot in the basement, takes out his teeth at night and embodies Owen's worst fears about becoming a grownup.
On his way home from hockey practice one evening, Owen catches a glimpse of a girl named Sylvia at her piano lesson, and he falls hopelessly in love. Thank goodness for life at home, where there are brothers to talk to and plot adventures with. Yet the Skye boys somehow have a knack for turning every innocent plan into a full-scale ordeal.
Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, forced to go to a school full of jocks and girls who don't even know what irony is. It would all be impossible if it weren't for her best friends, Thomas and Naoki. The three are also the only members of Jefferson High's Mystery Club, dedicated to exploring the weird and unexplained, from ESP and astrology to super powers and mysterious objects.
Then there's the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet Monty bought online. Will it help her predict the future or fight back against the ignorant jerks who make fun of Thomas for being gay or Monty for having lesbian moms? Maybe the Eye is here just in time, because the newest resident of their small town is scarier than mothmen, poltergeists, or, you know, gym.
Thoughtful, funny, and painfully honest, Montgomery Sole is someone you'll want to laugh and cry with over a big cup of frozen yogurt with extra toppings.
As the new school year unfolds, the magic of the Skye brothers' antic adventures is replaced by a different kind of magic — of stillness, when Owen visits the haunted house in the dead of winter, and of insight, as he begins to see his father in a new light. Owen is growing up, but happily for readers, he never loses his most endearing qualities — his sweet vulnerability, his impulsive courage, and his imagination as big as the sky.
The Secret Life of Owen Skye was a smash hit with readers, reviewers and award juries. In After Sylvia, Alan Cumyn has produced a captivating sequel that captures perfectly the bewilderment and joy of being a kid. A funny, poignant, magical book that will delight a broad range of readers.