Some of Our Favorite Novels Re-Released!

Posted on: 06/10/2020 Back to all blog posts

Royal Fireworks Press offers dozens upon dozens of novels for children. We choose them carefully and deliberately. We want stories that give children insight into the world, that teach them things they didn’t know, that expand their perspectives about what they think and understand, and that entertain them while doing so. One of our favorite storytellers is the author Paul Sullivan. Sullivan is a master at penning books that you just can’t put down, and we are fortunate to have published eight of them. Writing in the spirit of such eminent authors as Jack London, Sullivan crafts intricate, realistic tales that are filled with the range of human emotions and that are able to move readers deeply. And now we are reissuing six of those novels (one had already been re-issued, and another is recently new), so that all eight novels are freshly edited and ready for a summer of excellent reading.

Sullivan’s work falls into two rough categories. Most of his books might be called nature-based if not for the distinctly human focus in them, whether to illustrate the harsh reality of the natural world and its unblinking eye as it looks upon people struggling to survive in it, or to illustrate the harsh reality of the damage that people can do to the natural world. Four of these stories are set in the Arctic (The Unforgiving Land, Keewatin, The Seal Hunters, and Legend of the North), and one takes place in Africa (The Spirit Walker), and it is clear that Sullivan knows the land about which he writes. He has traveled extensively across the globe, and his stories are authentic and true to life—not just in the settings, but in the people who enter them or inhabit them as well.

The other category that Sullivan writes in is historical fiction. Through him, we learn about what it was truly like for a child to work in the Pennsylvania coal mines at the turn of the twentieth century (in Breaker at Dawn), and we follow a family through the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-49 (in A Thousand Tears). We sit on the edges of our seats as we turn the pages of A Burning of Prayers as we wait for the protagonists to open the Mayan temple-pyramid to see what’s inside, while a brutal civil war rages across Guatemala in the 1980s. In every book, we learn about what we did not fully understand until we see it through the eyes of the characters and experience it vicariously ourselves in this almost intimate way.

We cannot be more excited to offer these new editions of our Paul Sullivan novels. The books are simply fantastic—sometimes even with a twist at the end that leaves readers smiling and satisfied. They are excellent children’s reading—but, we confess, we as adults absolutely love them.

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