Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I have reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book I reviewed for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now focusing on writing reviews and articles, and finding interesting book related news, for this blog. Many of the titles that I will be sharing with you will appeal to adults as well as children. I firmly believe that some of the best writing in the world can be found on the pages of books that were written for young people. I invite you adults to explore these books for yourselves; they will, I am sure, delight and surprise you. I hope what you will find here will make your journey into the world of children's literature more enjoyable. Please visit the Through the Looking Glass Facebook page as well for even more bookish posts

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Bran Hambric Blog Tour

A few weeks ago I read a delightful book, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse. This is the first title in what promises to be a thrilling new series by Kaleb Nation, a young author who I believe is going to make a big splash on the children's literature scene.

You can view my review of the book here on the TTLG website.

Thanks to Kaleb's publisher, Sourcebooks, I was able to interview this exciting new author.

Marya: Where did the idea for this book come from?

Kaleb: I was up late on the night of March 3, 2003, and had a sudden idea of Bran and Sewey on their rooftop, waiting for a burglar -- exactly how Chapter 1 opens. There were many other ideas attached to the image, and questions that I had to answer. By answering those questions, I slowly formed the story.

Marya: Bran Hambric lives in a city where many people are closed minded and unwilling to consider that mages and gnomes can be perfectly nice people. Are you trying to make point here?

Kaleb: When I set Dunce as a city that banned gnomes and magic, I was trying to create the image of a people who are not intrinsically bad, but are blinded by their prejudice. They would never even try to meet a gnome or a mage, because if they did, it would shatter their prejudice, which in turn would shatter their entire identity. When someone becomes so wrapped up in hatred for people they have never met, they usually end up looking as foolish as the Duncelanders!

Marya: You have some wonderful made up names in the story. How did you come up with these?

Kaleb: Some of the names come from myths and legends. Balder is the name of a Norse god. I invented Sewey when I was very young and heard someone say something about Chop Suey in a movie. A lot of the names were used in old stories I was writing years before The Farfield Curse, so it's hard to remember their sources!

Marya: What is your writing process? Did you plan the story in advance, or did it evolve as you wrote it?

Kaleb: I wrote the book in a somewhat odd way! For the first book, I did not plan out much, and just wrote an entire 500-or-so page novel in about seven months. I then rewrote the entire book multiple times, until I got tired of all the plot issues, and only then plotted out chapters on paper. However, for the sequel I'm writing now, everything is plotted out, so I don't get stuck as easily (or take six years to write it!).

Marya: Did you read fantasy books when you were growing up? If so, which ones did you like?

Kaleb: I did read some. I enjoyed the Chronicles Of Narnia and The Lord Of The Rings especially.

Marya: I know you have plans for more Bran Hambric books. Do you have plans for other books as well?

Kaleb: I certainly hope to write more than Bran Hambric. I have ideas for another series afterwards that are still brewing. I've also been working off and on with another story that is not a fantasy, and is very different from everything I've done before. It's one of those stories I think will take a decade to write the way I want, so I'm not looking to see it in stores anytime soon!

Marya: Do you know what is going to happen to Bran in the next book?

Bran: I know what's going to happen to Bran in all the books! I know who he meets, when he meets them, and who dies, and who lives. I know exactly how even the last book is going to end. For me, it is just the journey of getting there.

Here is a little information about Kaleb Nation:

As a child, Kaleb Nation had to be forced by his mother to write one page a week in creative writing. But by the time he finished his first story, no one could make him to stop. Age twelve, Kaleb promptly telephoned the senior editor of a major publisher to pitch the book…and got to talk with security instead.

But as with most writers, not even that could stifle his dream. On the third night of the third month in 2003, age 14, Kaleb had a sudden idea that began the story of Bran Hambric, a novel which would take most of his teenage years to write. In early 2007, Kaleb finished the first book in his series (Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse) and signed with Richard Curtis Associates, a leading New York literary agency. In 2008, Kaleb’s debut novel was sold to Sourcebooks, one of the largest independent publishers in the nation, for a Fall 2009 release.

Aside from writing, Kaleb hosted his first radio show in Texas at age 13, later launching his own program in 2006 called The Top 5. Originally produced exclusively for KalebNation.com, Kaleb’s show eventually grew to be broadcast on AM, FM, Internet, and satellite radio stations across the globe, making him one of the youngest nationally syndicated hosts on the air. Kaleb was also heard daily as the lead voice-over on WZDG-FM in North Carolina.

In mid-2008, Kaleb launched a second blog at TwilightGuy.com, giving chapter-by-chapter insight, from a guy and writer’s perspective, on reading the Twilight Saga, a series of popular novels. The website went on to receive over 3 million hits in its first 9 months online, and was featured in BusinessWeek and Entertainment Weekly magazines. Kaleb also began posting regular videos on his Youtube channel, with a combined total of over 3 million plays.

In his free time, Kaleb enjoys creating music and blogging at kalebnation.com. A homeschool graduate and a former black belt in taekwondo, he currently attends college in Texas and turned 20 in 2008.

Please do visit the other blogs that are participating in this tour. They are:

Sunday, August 30th

Jenn’s Bookshelf

Homespun Light

Monday, August 31st


Dolce Bellezza

Bobbi’s Book Nook

Tuesday, September 1st

The Looking Glass Review


Beth Fish Reads

SMS Book Reviews

James Holder’s YouTube Channel

Wednesday, September 2nd


Reading Rumpus

Katie’s Literature Lounge

Ultimate Bookhound

Thursday, September 3rd

Brimful Curiosities

Charlotte’s Library

Friday, September 4th


Bran Hambric by Kaleb Nation

Saturday, September 5th

Library Lounge Lizard

Sarah’s Random Musings



Sunday, September 6th

Cindy’s Love of Books

Monday, September 7th

Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf

Grasping for the Wind

Life After Twilight vlog channel

Tuesday, September 8th

Shooting Stars Magazine

Mrs. Magoo Reads

Lori Calabrese Writes

Wednesday, September 9th

The Brain Lair


The Children’s Book Review

TV Watch Online

Thursday, September 10th

The Friendly Book Nook

Book Journey

Stephanie’s Written Word

Home School Buzz


Friday, September 11th

The Inside Scoop With Chandelle

Booking Mama

Saturday, September 12th

Zoe’s Book Reviews

Lit for Kids

Sunday, September 13th

Never Jam Today

A Bibliophile’s Reverie

Monday, September 14th

Café of Dreams

Marta’s Meanderings


A Book Blogger’s Diary

The Reader’s Quill

Tuesday, September 15th

a book in hand


Not Just for Kids

Wednesday, September 16th

Write for a Reader


Thursday, September 17th

Howling Good Books

The Written World

Friday, September 18th

Always Riddikulus

YA Books Central

Saturday, September 19th

Ms. Bookish

Into the Wardrobe


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Children books said...

You created this blog in an effort to share some of my finds with you, and I hope it will make your journey in the world of children's literature more enjoyable,very nice blog keep it up

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