"It’s a timeless story told in a timely way: Mayan codex meets superhero comic book"—New York Times A middle grade graphic novel follows the adventures of a magical boy from Maya mythology. The first of a series based on ancient Mesoamerican myths and legends. Sayam has always been different from other kids—he’s very short for his age, his best friend is a monkey, and most curious of all: he was born from an egg! His grandmother, a witch, found him and taught him all the ancient magic she uses to help her people. So when a giant snake starts terrorizing a nearby city, Sayam decides it’s time for him to use his knowledge to help others, and steps into action. But the beast might not be Sayam’s biggest problem: the ruthless King Kinich Kak Ek sees Sayam as a threat to his throne. Prophecy declares that whoever succeeds at three impossible tests will be king. Monstrous snakes and impossible tests are a lot for a boy to handle, but Sayam is brave and has a loyal monkey, a wise grandmother, and magical knowledge on his side! Fans of adventure tales with a mythological focus—such as Bowles’ previous work with Latin American myths, The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande and the Garza Twin series, as well as Rick Riordan Presents, especially the Storm Runner novels—will love this exciting and accessible graphic novel. Rise of the Halfling King is also an invaluable educational tool for middle school students—it’s a well-researched introduction to Maya culture, made accessible by an expert in Mesoamerican culture and juvenile literature. Bowles previously stitched together tales from Maya, Aztec, and other ancient mythology from pre-Columbian Mexico in the critically-acclaimed YA book, Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky . David Bowles is a Mexican American author and educator based in South Texas. He has written fourteen books. His middle grade novel-in-verse They Call Me Güero has been the recipient of numerous honors such as the Pura Belpré Honor, the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, the Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, the Walter Dean Myers Honor Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, the Texas Institute of Letters Best Middle Grade Book Award, the Skipping Stones Award; the book is also an Américas Book Award Commended Title and was named in the Bluebonnet Award Masterlist. Some of his other books are Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky and The Smoking Mirror . Charlene Bowles is a comic artist and illustrator based in Texas. She graduated from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2018. Rise of the Halfling King is her debut graphic novel and her work has also been featured on the covers of the award-winning Garza Twins books. She is currently developing many of her own comic projects. Best Books of 2020, Middle Grade—Kirkus Reviews2021 TLA Little Maverick list101 Great Books for Kids List of 2020, Evanston Public Library
Bluebonnet Award Masterlist 2020-2021 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book, 2019 ALSC Notable Children's Book, 2019 Walter Award Honor Book, 2019 Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, Bank Street 2019 NCTE 2019 Notable Verse Novels Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award TIL Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book 2018 Skipping Stones Award Ámericas Award, Commended Title School Library Journal's 2018 Best Books Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children's & Teen Books of the Year, Middle Grade Favorites of 2019, Americas Society / Council of the Americas Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He's starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. In Spanish, «Güero» is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd–reader, gamer, musician–who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails. But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope. He writes poetry. In Spanish, «„Güero“» is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd–reader, gamer, musician–who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails. But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope. He writes poetry.
Spanish Conquistadors and the Imperial Catholic Church—through murder and fire?tried to erase from history the creation stories of the Aztecs and other Mexican peoples. But bits and pieces survived. Through long research and imagination, David Bowles has woven together a remarkable tapestry of the whole, from the beginnings of the world to when Cortes first stepped onto the Continent.