‘Emily’s Stories’ book club information

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Available on Kindle, audiobook and paperback

Available on Kindle, audiobook and paperback

Emily’s Stories, my three-story set about a teenager who is very much at home using both logic and information from birds and spirits, is intended for families and teens. If your book club is looking for stories that work for discussions that parents and children can all take part in, here is a packet with starter discussion questions and other information you can use when deciding if this short book will work wonderfully for your club.

Emily’s Stories Book Club Extras

Emily Walters is a sharp, inquisitive fourteen-year-old north Florida girl who loves maps, her rusty old bike, and the forest behind her house. Sometimes her dreams tell her the future and sometimes her waking hours bring wise birds and other spirits into her life. In these three short stories, join Emily in adventures and mysteries.

When her family vacations in the mountains in “High Country Painter,” a wise Pine Siskin tells her she must quickly learn how to paint dreams into reality to prevent an afternoon hike from becoming a tragedy.

In “Map Maker,” she’ll need her skills—and the help of a Chuck-will’s-widow—to fight a developer’s plans for from bulldozing the sacred forest behind her house and replacing it with a subdivision.

In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” she’ll learn the secrets of her grandmother’s favorite tree, the crumbling almost-forever house down on the river, and why some ghosts would rather visit than haunt.

REVIEWS

I’ve recommended this audiobook more than any other I’ve listened to… The kid is powerful because she can see & hear the beauty and the magic in Nature. This audiobook has the coldest, scariest ghost voice in the world and also the wonderful open, free and uninhibited voice of ‘Emily’. AND the voices of birds and much more. The widest range of voices I’ve heard from a narrator. And all seemed real, not forced. I believed it – I believed this could happen. – M. Stein

A Magical story… You know how people sometimes say to children they have old souls. Well Emily is one of them. The way this fourteen year old sees everything around her was what captured my heart. This author more. … Emily is easily related too, well for me that was. She lives with her engineer father. The relationship between them is what every relationship should be like between father and daughter. It’s a beautiful one to read. She got her grandmother’s gift of sight and gets revealed through her dreams. It’s a world as real as yours and mine but it has a hint of magic and a slight bit paranormal as a ghost makes it appearance when danger is near. What I absolutely loved about this was that it had that reality to it. It feels so real and sure that this can happen.

Want to see more from Malcolm Campbell! In “Emily’s Stories,” author Malcolm R. Campbell captures the sweet, quirky essence of his young main character. Three stories offer snippets of Emily Walter’s world and the love of nature she shares with her father. She’s only fourteen, yet she understands much more of life than most teens her age. Her dreams hint of the future, and even her waking hours fill with spirits and birds that speak a special truth.

The only issue I found with this enchanting set of stories was its brevity (and this is based on my wishes). Emily cries out for a novel-length book, where Mr. Campbell can delve deeper into the special trust between the young girl and her father, and the legends behind her grandmother’s favorite Sweetbay Magnolia. But this is a good thing, that as a reader, I long for more. “Emily’s Stories” is a sound, fun read. I hope to see more of Emily and her unusual take on the world. Bravo, Malcolm! –Rhett DeVane, author of “Elsbeth and Sim” and “Suicide Supper Club”

Book Club Discussion Guide

YA Version

  1. es2014audioDo you have a favorite place to go like the woods behind Emily’s house in “Map Maker” that you think will be there forever? How will you feel if you ever go back and find that somebody put a house or a store there? Would you wish you’d known how to save it or at least had thought to take more pictures of it the way it was?
  2. In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” Emily learns that her grandmother had a secret reason for loving the white-blossomed tree in her back yard. Can you imagine your grandparents being young and in love with suitors? Your parents?
  3. In “High Country Painter” and “Sweetbay Magnolia,” Emily hangs out with her dad in such an easy relationship they can even poke fun at each other. Do you experience this kind of camaraderie with either or both of your parents?
  4. Emily rides her bike everywhere in “Map Maker,” exploring her entire neighborhood. Have you done this kind of exploring, wanting to know what’s happening on every street and vacant lot?
  5. Is there a time in your life when you thought there were things to learn from the birds and animals like Emily does in “Map Maker” and “High Country Painter,” as though they might even have important messages for you?
  6. In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” Emily is very accepting of the idea that a ghostly captain could appear out of the fog on his tugboat and converse with her. Is this ability to seek out, experience and believe in magic as a child something that is lost when children grow up? When you become an adult, where does this belief go?
  7. “Sweetbay Magnolia” question for North Florida Readers: Have you had an opportunity to visit St. Marks and explore the ruins of San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, the nearby wildlife refuge or head upriver toward the long-gone town of Magnolia and hear the old stories about the 1850s steam-powered tugboat called the Spray that once patrolled the river? That boat, which saw brief action in the Civil War, was the inspiration for the tugboat in the story.

Adult/Family Version

  1. I grew up in north Florida where Emily lives. In fact, her family lives in my family's old house!

    I grew up in north Florida where Emily lives. In fact, her family lives in my family’s old house! They’re not stuck with that old 1950s car, though.

    When you were growing up, did you have a favorite place to play like the woods behind Emily’s house in “Map Maker” that you thought would be there forever? As an adult, did you ever go back and find that somebody put a house or a store there and wished you’d known how to save it or at least had thought to take more pictures of it the way it was?

  2. In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” Emily learns that her grandmother had a secret reason for loving the white-blossomed tree in her back yard. When you were fourteen, could you imagine your grandparents being young and in love with suitors?
  3. In “High Country Painter” and “Sweetbay Magnolia,” Emily hangs out with her dad in such an easy relationship they can even poke fun at each other. Did you experience this kind of camaraderie with either or both of your parents?
  4. Emily rode her bike everywhere in “Map Maker,” exploring her entire neighborhood. Did you do this? If you have children, do they do this, wanting to know what’s happening on every street and vacant lot?
  5. Was there ever a time in your life when you thought there were things to learn from the birds and animals like Emily does in “Map Maker” and “High Country Painter,” as though they might even have important messages for you.
  6. In “Sweetbay Magnolia,” Emily is very accepting of the idea that a ghostly captain could appear out of the fog on his tugboat and converse with her. Is this ability to seek out, experience and believe in magic as a child something that is lost when the children grow up?
  7. “Sweetbay Magnolia” question for North Florida Readers: Have you had an opportunity to visit St. Marks and explore the ruins of San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, the nearby wildlife refuge or head upriver toward the long-gone town of Magnolia and hear the old stories about the 1850s steam-powered tugboat called the Spray that once patrolled the river? That boat, which saw brief action in the Civil War, was the inspiration for the tugboat in the story.

Audiobook

Kelley inn her Studio

Kelley in her Studio

Emily’s Stories is narrated and produced by Storyteller Productions – Kelley Hazen and Bruce Carver – of Los Angeles, California. The boutique, state-of-the-art studio offers full recording services featuring intuitive narration.

For Emily’s Stories, Kelley found pictures of the birds that became such important characters for Emily and clips on YouTube by avid birders who had recorded the cry of each of these birds. Then when she gave the bird characters voices or imitated their calls, she made it sound as much like that bird in real life as she was able.

Your club can see a sneak peek video for Emily’s Stories on YouTube.

 

Malcolm R. Campbell, the author of contemporary fantasy novels and paranormal short stories also wrote “Cora’s Crossing” and “Moonlight and Ghosts,” both of which are also set in north Florida. These Kindle stories were combined into “Malcolm Campbell’s Spooky Stories” which–like “Emily’s Stories–has a great audio version.

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