Tell your kids to buckle up: There’s a new fantasy adventure out there waiting for them called Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle. In it, author George Hagan explores such universal themes as honor, betrayal, greed, compassion, trust, and the ties that bind family and friends. All this in a captivating, one-of-a-kind page turner.
You see, Adam, twelve-year-old Gabriel’s father, has mysteriously disappeared from their Brooklyn brownstone. Turns out, he’s been taken captive, not just by the evil half-man and half-raven Corax, but by his own disgraced brother, as well. Thus Gabriel sets off on a quest to find and rescue his dad. As he journeys, he is joined by Paladin, an orphaned baby raven, and a few other unusual characters, including a walking desk. And among his many discoveries: He and his family can actually bond with ravens–and fly, too!
To succeed in this noble mission, Gabriel and his unlikely companions travel “to the heights of New York City and to the depths of Aviopolis.” And, as they make their way, they must solve 37 perplexing riddles, right there along with the reader. These verbal puzzles help set this book apart from all other imaginary tales and heighten its appeal.
As for riddles themselves, these brainteasers date back some 4,000 years to Samaria. Here’s an example from that age-old city: “There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?”
Meanwhile, archeologists have even found riddles etched on the walls of ancient Japanese, Chinese, and Tibetan temples. Some were used for entertainment while others actually revealed math formulas. Meanwhile, the Greeks used riddles to test a person’s intelligence and creativity. Here’s one of the most famous riddles from Greek Mythology: “What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?” Can you figure that one out, too?
There’s lots more where that came from in this book that asks: “What if a riddle could save your life?” Ah, yes, what if. So move over Harry Potter; there’s a new hero in town, one who takes readers on a brain teasing odyssey that thrills to the very last page.
But first, to get your son or daughter started making up their own riddles, Mr. Hagen offers these tips:
“Stinky-Pinky is a very easy riddle game that children can make up by themselves. This sort of riddle requires a rhyming two-word answer (the best combinations are an adjective and a noun, but they certainly don’t have to follow that rule). Example: What do you call a smelly finger? A stinky pinky!
• First, the riddler puts his or her rhyming answer together.
• Examples: funny bunny, legal eagle, peg leg, flamingo bingo.
• Now make up clues to fit the examples above:
• What’s another way to describe an amusing rabbit? A funny bunny!
• Name a law-abiding bird of prey? A legal eagle!
• What does a one-legged pirate lean on? A peg leg!
A board game often played by elderly pink birds with big beaks and long legs? Flamingo Bingo!
That’s all there is to it. Now you’re ready to make up stinky pinky riddles!”
(As for the riddles above: #1 is a man; #2 is a school. Did you figure them both out already?)