The Carta Marina – Latin for ‘sea map’ – was drawn in 1527, but its fascination still lingers, even close to five hundred years later. With its bright colors and mythical oceanic creatures, the map is captivating. So much so, that it has inspired a new children’s story that evokes the adventures of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, the Boxcar Children and the swashbuckling daring of Indiana Jones.
‘The Pendant Saga: Picaroons and Pembertons’ by debut author J.A. Knighted, holds many treasures within its pages. Not only will the book excite young readers with its electrifying fantasy and relatable characters, but parents will find lots to love too, with the exploration of sibling relationships and the carefully sketched portrayals of children with sensory issues.
“My daughter has autism,” says Knighted. “It’s important to me to give life to all sorts of characters, and in this book, although it’s subtle, two characters have sensory issues. My plan over the next books in the series is to develop this slowly, but still showing that these characters are on the spectrum. It’s vital that all children feel represented in literature. They should be able to see parts of themselves in these kids. They should feel as if the Pembertons are their friends – and they will!”
At the heart of the book is a “sibling love story,” something that Knighted feels is missing from children’s literature. As a teacher, a lot of books pass by Knighted’s desk, but something seems to be absent from the stories.
“When I was in middle school, I wasn’t interested in heavy drama,” says the author. “Too many books now are so serious and frankly, a bit depressing. At that age, I wanted to play make believe and imagine other worlds. By creating the land of Eylenda, I’ve indulged that side of my personality and filled a gap in the genre.
“When I was younger, I also loved spending time with my siblings. Those memories are what anchor ‘The Pendant Saga’ – that love for my siblings and how I wanted to look after them. That special bond between the Pemberton children is what keeps them fighting for each other, even when they might be up against immeasurable odds! This first book introduces the first pendant of four. We will meet other pendant keepers in the next books. Their stories are what will keep kids coming back for more.”
Boasting a five-star-rating on Amazon already, ‘The Pendant Saga: Book One: Picaroons and Pembertons’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1lU1xqk
About the Author:
J.A. Knighted was born in California but is now a resident of Colorado. Graduating with an art degree from California State Long Northridge; she is an artist, teacher and mother of a daughter with autism. Her first love is painting but she has always been a storyteller.
When she is not working she can be found writing, painting in her studio, exploring the wonders of Colorado, or playing autism advocate.