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Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of nine novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, Spinner (Winner Hollywood Book Festival; Honorable Mention San Francisco Book Festival; Bronze Medal from Reader’s Favorite; Literary Classics Seal of Approval), and Warrior Kids.
His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.
He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
His goal as an author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.
on Dec. 17, 2015 :
Warrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot is set in New Camelot, where eighteen-year-old Lance and his Earth Warriors are battling climate change. It would seem unlikely that a youth-led movement can save the earth from its own inhabitants, but Lance's movement is spreading across America, attracting friends and making enemies alike. The question is: can they really make a difference?
It's unusual to see a middle-grade novel steeped in different themes often directed to adult audiences: political struggle, climate change, and the process of becoming a leader in a turbulent world. Such themes would seem to preclude the audience Warrior Kids is intended for - and, indeed, the subject and approach promises not a light leisure thriller, but a story offering more depth than most.
That's one of the strengths of Warrior Kids: set within the 'Children of the Knight' universe, it combines elements of Arthurian legend and futuristic struggle to create its own unique world where young adults have power and learn how to wield it.
Chapters discuss the kinds of wars movements spawn, the strengths needed from a determined leader of any age, and the types of enemies that are born under such circumstances. They follow the rise of 'kid power' in previously-adult political circles and they use many of the trappings of Arthurian times (Excalibur, knights, etc.) to explore rhetoric, political structure, and how determined kids could possibly make a difference in their world - if it's not already too late.
While Warrior Kids is might be considered a middle grade read, it's really a better read for high school, with its older teens and their social and political savvy. Such an audience will find it a refreshingly different world that poses many questions about ethics, morality, and human interactions with the planet; all presented under the unusual focus on 'kid power' and the ability of individuals and grassroots communities to change the world.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)