Underlying Values… Planned and Accidental

I think it’s fair to say that woven into each Jaspa’s Journey story are at least one or two (non-preachy) life lessons for young readers. Some of these are obvious and were intentional. For example, the wrongness of prejudice is a recuring theme. As is the unfairness of bullying. But others were totally unplanned.

For example, an early review of The Great Migration concluded that it included ‘a strong sense of family’. I was thrilled, even though I hadn’t written the book with this consciously in mind. Perhaps it simply came from the way I imagined the relationships between the main characters. Or maybe it reflected my own values seeping into the story. I don’t honestly know.

When The Hermit of Kennecott was published in May 2020, during the first wave of Covid-19 lockdowns, the accidental connection between the book (which had been almost 13 years in the making, by the way) and what we were all experiencing in daily life was hard to miss. Here was a story with strong underlying links to the Spanish Flu – the last deadly disease to result in global lockdowns – being released during another pandemic. And totally coincidentally.

The peaceful fields outside Brussels, Belgium, where in 1815 over 140,000 men fought the infamous Battle of Waterloo (photo: Rich Meyrick)

Even more recently, the terrible events currently occurring in Ukraine make me think of the third book in the Jaspa’s Journey series, Jaspa’s Waterloo, which is sadly relevant for one of its underlying themes… the horror of war. Although the story is set on the famous Waterloo battlefield today, more than 200 years after the fighting ended, in it I tried to express (without getting too graphic) just how frightening the battle must have been for the soldiers on both sides.  When I consider that at this very moment, soldiers and civilians – including children – are learning first hand what I tried to convey in my book, it breaks my heart.

The above post is taken from this month’s Fiction Meets Fact Newsletter. To receive future newsletters in their entirety (together with a Free Jaspa’s Journey Booklet including the short story Freefall over London and Jaspa’s Journey images to colour), click on the image below.

Expand the minds of your strong middle grade readers by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first four – The Great Migration, The Pride of London, Jaspa’s Waterloo, and The Hermit of Kennecott – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at www.jaspasjourney.com. Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Adventure, History, The World, Travel, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

I'd love to hear what you've got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.