To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the children’s fantasy book The Dark Dreamweaver, by Nick Ruth, Imaginator Press is holding a creative writing contest for children and teenagers up to age 14. The Dark Dreamweaver was just the first book in The Remin Chronicles, which now has a second book, called The Breezes of Inspire. Remin, the land in which the stories take place, is literally powered by dreams and imagination. Different rules apply in that world.
For the creative writing contest, Imaginator Press wants to know what “Dream Power” means to children. So have your children or students write a creative story, up to 2000 words, on the subject of dream power. They should use their imagination as much as possible, and write about whatever that subject means to them.
Once they submit their story by October 31, 2009, they will be eligible to win one of ten fantastic prizes. The one first prize winner will receive an 8GB iPod Touch (or equivalent model). Four second prize winners receive $25 iTunes gift cards. Five third prize winners receive $10 iTunes gift cards. In addition, winning stories will be published in an anthology on “Dream Power.” Visit Imaginator Press’s website to read the complete rules and to download an entry form.
Since the writing contest celebrates the book The Dark Dreamweaver, I received a copy of the book to review. While I’ve read a fair amount of fantasy books, I haven’t read too much children’s fantasy. The storyline is simple enough for children of most ages to follow, but it has enough twists and turns to keep even my interest. One thing I also like about the book is that the story is self-contained. Even though they leave plenty of openings to lead into other books in the series, the storyline for this book is wrapped up in the end.
Imagination and dreams have great power in Remin, much more power than in our world. This fact plays a central role in the story. It is very encouraging for the author to say that you need to think positively and to imagine all the possibilities for your life or your current situation. It might influence children to think of creative ways in which to solve problems or resolve situations.
I found a few logical errors in the book, though, but perhaps I was overthinking it. I kept wondering, well, if this is true, then why don’t they just do this? However, I had similar issues with the Harry Potter books upon occasion! Overall, I found the story fun, and especially nice for children. Amazon.com recommends it for ages 9 to 12. I think that younger children would also enjoy it if their reading level was high enough, or if it was read to them.
To make reading the book part of a larger educational experience, you can download or send away for a classroom packet which includes a Teacher’s Guide and Book Club Guide to help use the book in the classroom, for homeschooling or a for children’s book club. There are a lot of ideas in the book worth discussing, and, once you’ve read the book, the language arts and science tie-ins are pretty clear. The life cycle of a Monarch butterfly is a very important part of the story, and some information on raising Monarch butterflies and their migration is also included in the packet, along with stickers and bookmarks. Imaginator Press has also collected a list of valuable website resources that related to parts of the story.
Reading The Dark Dreamweaver isn’t required to enter the “Dream Power” creative writing contest, but it is a good read, and gives plenty of examples of the power of dreams.