My new fantasy novel for children will hit bookstores – real and cyber – at the end of August 2012. This has been long in the making, queuing behind adult projects but finally it is imminent and I love the story, a worthy sequel to The Whisperer that was a hit in 2010 with young readers and and earned itself a place on the short shortlist for the 2010 Children’s Book Council Awards. In The Rumpelgeist, the story picks up from the original nearly two decades later and we are with the next generation of gifted heroes The realm is being traumatised by the arrival of a Rumpelgeist into its midst and more devastatingly the disappearance of several of its children. People believe the two events to be linked but have no leads to go on and must rely on the wild family magic of Princess Ellin and the similar talent of her friend, Flynn Jolien to tackle the threat that they realise is emerging from an old foe, the Witch Grevilya. Familar and loved characters from The Whisperer return including Pilo, Davren, Bitter Olof, Calico Grace and Little Thom. This is a chapter book, a big read but one that a well-reading Year 4 student might enjoy alone. Sharing it, by reading to youngsters would be ideal and I am hearing from booksellers and teachers that this story will suit students up to 11 years. I recall The Whisperer being enjoyed by Year 8 students when it was released so I have no doubt the old adage that a good story has no age limits will hopefully apply to The Rumpelgeist. Enjoy with the youngsters in your life.