– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Word-Keeper’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but b
About the Author :
Veronica Del Valle grew up in Argentina, but life eventually led her to live in London, the city that was her home for many years.
Veronica’s always had a fondness for words, language and the magic of storytelling. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.
Veronica currently lives in Buenos Aires with her husband, Ale, and her daughter, Tomiko. She teaches creative writing at Universidad de San Andres and is a contributing editor and writer for one of Argentina’s leading news organizations.
When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s either a) meditating or b) enjoying life with her family (which, in a way, is another beautiful way to meditate).
The Word Keeper is the first novel she’s written.
What would happen if words disappeared forever?
Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words.
The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books.
Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.
She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language.
As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?
Guest Post :
As I wrote The Word-Keeper, there were two things that were in my mind at all times:
Number One: I wanted to write a middle-grade fantasy story that paid tribute to words. I believe it’s paramount for children to know how meaningful language is. In fact, The Word-Keeper tries to answer the following question: What would happen to the world if words disappeared forever?
Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Austrian philosopher, said: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. All I know is what I have words for.” Indeed, language is one of human kind’s most valuable possessions, and we often forget that. We fail to remember that words can do good or they can do evil. They can create or they can destroy. They can unite or they can divide. The choice is ours. If we make sure children know this from an early age, it would have the most positive and constructive consequences for our society.
And Number Two: I wanted the book to be a middle-grade fairytale-like fantasy novel with an old-fashioned tone to it. The reason behind this is actually twofold.
I love the simplicity of a fable or a folk tale. I wanted to write about complex matters in a simple way. This stems out of the fact that children are incredibly intelligent and more than able to understand complicated issues as long as you present these topics within a context that makes sense to them.
The following passage by E. B. White perfectly summarizes my thoughts on the subject:
“Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly.”
“Some writers for children deliberately avoid using words they think a child doesn’t know. This emasculates the prose and, I suspect, bores the reader. Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words, and they backhand them over the net. They love words that give them a hard time, provided they are in a context that absorbs their attention.”
The other reason I chose to write a middle-grade novel is because I think the reading we do as children stays deep within us in a way no other reading in our life does.
The books we read when we are eight, nine or ten years old profoundly shapes who we are, who we become as adults, what moral standards we defend, how we understand the world and how we relate with ourselves and with others.
It is so awesome to see a child discover the wonder hidden within books. Early reading is essential to build self-confidence, to encourage a thirst for knowledge and to make sure we never limit creativity. As Maria Montessori stated: “The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing understanding between people.”
I hope The Word-Keeper inspires people to love and respect one another and the world we live in. And I also hope that the children (or adults) who read this book will be inspired to be who they truly are, without ever comparing themselves to others, and remember, as we read in the book, that “the words that come out of our mouths go into the world and echo forever.”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds