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Guardians of the World Gates (Book One): Fantasy adventure to help youngsters on the autism spectrum to love books, with understanding.

Susanna Elliot’s first new fantasy adventure for young adults ‘Guardians of the World Gates’ – subtitled ‘The Watcher at Crow Forest’ – sees the main characters, twins Jay and Jill, off on a rather scary journey through a deep dark woodland following mysterious footprints. The intrepid pair’s mind-sensing ‘Talents’ are awakened as they approach the enchanted World Gate. But what is behind it, and who is the strange character lurking nearby calling himself The Watcher?

Guardians Of The World Gates

The book is intended to encourage young people to read easily and fluently, says the author, who’s spent many years teaching reading, particularly those with reading difficulties.. It’s been inspired by Susanna’s 10-year-old granddaughter, an avid lover of fantasy action and mysterious tales.

The main characters in ‘Guardians of the World Gates’ – Book One ‘The Watcher at Crow Forest’ are young twins Jay and Jill whom author Susanna Elliot describes as being “on the spectrum.” In other words, diagnosed with or having the characteristics of an autistic spectrum disorder.

Susanna Elliot

Explains Susanna: “I wanted to write a book reflecting positively on their characteristics but also to write a book that children ‘on the spectrum’ could read easily and fluently. A book where there is a lot of action and suspense and not too much extraneous description or other literary devices that cut the thread of narrative. Too much ‘padding’ between narrative segments drops the attention of inexperienced readers off the story cliff, and slows down the reading comprehension of many children.”

Some children can “read” fluently, says the author, but only really decode, and may not actually understand what they read. It puts them off reading books. She adds: “I have taught reading to children and all ages of adults, including speakers of other languages, and know that Key Stage 2 group reading, or KS2 for short, is so important. It’s the last time pupils will be helped to read.”

From her research with adults, she discovered that if children cannot read to a reading age of 10+ they can lose skills year by year and can end up functionally illiterate by their 20s.

Synopsis of ‘Guardians of the World Gates’ (Book One) ‘The Watcher at Crow Forest’:

There’s a World Gate in Crow Forest. World Gates can only be seen for three nights in midsummer when a Guardian Circle is needed to protect the entrance to the mysterious Secret Worlds at the time of opening. Jay and Jill are staying at Crow Forest Farm when they notice strange happenings. What are Uncle Sam and Auntie Mo getting up to at the dead of night? Who made the large footprints in the forest? Why are the talking crows arriving? And who or what is The Watcher?

A walk in the forest with the dogs Sniffy and Finn and the little cat Sharp turns into an adventure when, in a clearing, Jay finds something hiding in the roots of a tree. Little do they know that being near the World Gate has turned on special mind-sensing powers – for all of them. With these talents they can join a Guardian circle – but can they seal the World gate and prevent a disaster in Crow Forest?

About Susanna Elliot

Susanna Elliot’s father had a bookshop and as a little girl she found magic worlds hidden in the pages of books. Later, studying science, revealed even more interesting secrets. Then for lots of years she had great pleasure helping children and young adults to find their own unknown talents. Much later less exciting stuff followed involving miles of writing with charts and diagrams and no plot at all. She now has fun helping the smaller people in her family have adventures finding the hidden worlds behind the secret doors in her garden.

In the author’s words:

“I wrote this book for my 10-year-old granddaughter Gracie. The book is dedicated to her. I let her read the first four chapters and she was desperate for me to finish it. She said that it is the best book she had ever read! My granddaughter Molly, at university studying illustration, designed the brilliant front cover.  When it was published Gracie took a copy to show her teacher – he liked it so much, calling it ‘very exciting,’ and asked for six copies so he could put it onto the Key Stage 2 group reading list.”

Find The Book Now:

‘Guardians of the World Gates’ (Book One) ‘The Watcher at Crow Forest’ by Susanna Elliot (ISBN 9781839755729) is published by Grosvenor House Publishing Limited and is available at Amazon in paperback, RRP £6.99. For details see: www.amazon.co.uk/Guardians-World-Gates-Watcher-Forest/dp/1839755725/

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