A riveting new book for young readers arrives

Is there a young reader on your holiday gift list who loved Eragon,The Chronicles of NarniaLord of the Rings, or Harry Potter?Then the ideal stocking stuffer may be The Dark Hills Divide, the firstvolume in the new Land of Elyon trilogy that has school kids in Walla Walla,Washington, flocking to a local bookstore for a copy.

This enthralling new series is set in a fantasy world in which animals cantalk and enchanted stones can predict the future. In Book I, The Dark HillsDivide, the heroine, 12-year-old Alexa, has spent her life living behindthe four-story walls that surround her village and the three others that makeup Bridewell Common. Even the roads between the towns are walled in to keep itscitizens safe from the unknown. But Alexa’s curiosity for what lies in the hillsand forests on the other side sends her on a daring adventure into a secret worldin which nothing is as it seems to be.

Ideal for readers 9-12, this lush story is filled with mystery, unforgettablecharacters, intriguing plot twists, and moral issues that are relevant to theirown lives.

Several hundred copies disappeared in a matter of weeks from the Book and GameCo. in Walla Walla, after author Patrick Carman visited local schools. “TheDark Hills Divide is a great adventure story for all who are curious aboutwhat is just out of our reach (or sight). Patrick Carman’s storytelling has madehis first book one of our store’s bestsellers within the first month of beingreleased. We can’t wait for the next two volumes!,” says store owner Joyce Bruns.

The Land of Elyon series was created by a successful businessman who began tradingplaces once a week with his wife so she could have a night out, and he took overreading to their daughters. As the months passed, Carman began spinning a tale forhis four- and six-year-olds about the escapades of a girl who became the inspirationfor Alexa.

In the year that followed, Carman “journaled” his thoughts and sketched outimpressions about the characters and place that would become The Land of Elyon.Then, in his spare time between running a national media production company and hisongoing commitment as a volunteer counselor to teens, Carman began to write.

Patrick Carman