Author: Randy Coates
Purchase at AMAZON
Paul Brager is twelve when his father tells the story of Iduna and her apples. Mr. Brager always tells stories before bed to entertain Paul’s little brother, Adrian—a ritual that has become even more important since their mother died. Iduna was a goddess who grew apples that made the gods younger and stronger, but one day she disappeared, along with her apples. Paul doesn’t think much of the myth; he has other things on his mind. Paul and his best friend, Chad Tremblay, are excited to start the school year as seventh graders at Dorian Heights Public School. Even when they hear about the new principal, Mr. Theisen, they aren’t worried about ending up in his office. When Paul finally meets the principal, however, he finds him to be strange, mysterious, and extremely fond of apples. That’s when things start going wrong. Theisen develops an uncomfortable interest in Paul, claiming he once knew Paul’s father. It becomes apparent to Paul and Chad that Theisen is after something, maybe some kind of treasure—and it involves the Brager family. Paul believes his family must be protected and that Theisen must be stopped. Still, he can’t get the story of Iduna’s apples out of his head; there seems to be an odd connection to the tale his father told. He and Chad want to know the answers, but learning them may put their lives in danger.
My Book Discovered...by my Students
Almost a year has passed since I self-published my children's fantasy novel.
When I finally had the hard copy in my hands,Idecided to give it to immediate members of my family and told them not to tell anyone else about it.
My intention was to establish myself with social media first: set up a website, for example. I wanted to see the true power of social media; to see if others I knew would recognize my book without being told by my family.
One advantage I have is being a teacher in a middle school where students are using social media not only at school but also inside and outside of their homes. I figured that one day, one student would stumble upon my creation. And students do not shut up about these things, as if they have just unveiled a crude secret about their teacher and want to be the first to clue in their friends.
So, with much interest, did I discover how my grade 8 students learned.
This past week, one of my more difficult students passed me in the hall and spluttered, "Hey Mr. Coates, I saw you on Google Images."
This, in itself, is not surprising. This boy does not care about me. Obviously, he wanted to "dig up some dirt" on someone. My name was probably one of the many he looked up and he happened to find the picture that is on the book's back cover.
"Yes," I grinned, "but do you know why it's there?"
This was probably the cleverest thing I could have said: I wanted to create some mystery, some suspense.
He, or perhaps others, pursued their investigation. Maybe because they were curious to see what crime I had committed, or what had made me famous. Perhaps they were wondering if I had been on Dancing With the Stars.
It does not matter. The fact is their hard work led to their finding that I had written a children'sbook.
One student said, "You actually wrote a book?" in that dumbfounded way that students often sound when they don't believe their teachers have lives outside of school.
Uh, the power of the Internet.
Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.