Twelve-year-old Tom Elm is just an ordinary turnip farmer from the Valley, but he's always felt destined for something bigger. So when he discovers everyone in his village is asleep and plagued by nightmares, he assembles a band of unlikely heroes. They must fight to preserve the Spark - a divine light born at the core of a vast, dark nothingness called the Nacht. The Nacht is trying to permeate the Waking World with nightmares of the Dreaming, and it's Tom's mission to defeat the Nacht and its most loyal follower, the Constable. If he fails, his family - and everyone - might never wake up again.
Tom Sniegoski - is the author of more than two dozen novels, including The Fallen, a teen fantasy quartet that was adapted into an ABC Family Channel miniseries, and the Billy Hooten: Owlboy books. With Christopher Golden, he coauthored the OutCast series, which is in development as a film at Universal. Sniegoski was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his wife and their Labrador retriever. Visit him online at sniegoski.com.
Jeff Smith - Born and raised in the American Midwest, Jeff Smith learned about cartooning from comic strips, comic books, and watching animation on TV. After four years of drawing comic strips for Ohio State's student newspaper, Smith cofounded the Character Builders animation studio in 1986. In 1991, he launched a company called Cartoon Books to publish his comic book BONE, a comedy/adventure about three lost cousins from Boneville.
"Graphic novel" is a term used by librarians, educators, and booksellers to indicate a publishing format--books written and illustrated in the style of a comic book, consisting of "sequential art"--a series of illustrations which, when viewed in order, tell a story. Although today's graphic novels are a recent phenomenon, this basic way of storytelling has been used in various forms for centuries--early cave drawings, hieroglyphics, and medieval tapestries like the famous Bayeux Tapestry can be thought of as stories told in pictures. The term graphic novel is now generally used to describe any book in a comic format that resembles a novel in length and narrative development.
School librarians and educators have reported outstanding success getting kids to read with graphic novels, citing particularly their popularity with reluctant readers, especially boys--a group traditionally difficult to reach. At the same time, graphic novels with rich, complex plots and narrative structures can also be satisfying to advanced readers.
Want to learn more about graphic novels? Check out our discussion guide here .