The Kidnapped Smile
The Artania Chronicles Book II
Mona Lisa kidnapped? Her father, Leonardo, in tears? What will the Deliverers do?
It has been a year since Alex and Bartholomew first ventured into the mystical Artania. Once again they are called upon to keep this art-created world safe.
But peril waits at every turn.
Traitorous Pirates. Fearful gods and goddesses. Monsters of the deep. A world’s safety lies in the hands three twelve-year-olds. Alex and Bartholomew, with their spunky sidekick Gwen, return to Artania to wrench the kidnapped Mona Lisa from the hands of ruthless pirates.
Will they succeed? Read The Kidnapped Smile and find out.
A Word from the Author
Every child is born curious with a desire to create. When nurtured that creativity can be magical. But when children are forced to deny their true selves, part of that magic disappears. I believe that we should foster art in kids and that’s why I wrote Artania. As a teacher I had begun to think of excessive testing as a monster that was destroying beautiful parts of children. In my imagination art was a living being that was endangered every time we denied children’s creativity.
It made we wonder. Can a kid who’s forced to bathe six times a day save a magical world? It’s not his fault his father drowned in a mud puddle just before he was born, turning Mother into a cleaning fanatic. Now eleven-year-old Bartholomew Borax III can’t go to school, play outside, or, worst of all, make art. But he has to. So he sketches in secret.
Then two amazing thing happen, he’s allowed to go to school and he meets skateboarding painter, Alexander Devinci. In Bartholomew’s book, Alex is wicked cool because he gets needing to create. But sharing glimpses of a freaky world every time they brush past each other makes for a tentative friendship. Meanwhile, Alex’s strained relationship with his mother takes an ominous turn when she has a heart attack, leading Bartholomew to reach out.
Later, during an art museum field trip, a rainbow inside a painting yanks the boys into another realm. Bartholomew’s living in an antiseptic mansion is nothing in comparison to how weird Artania is with living paintings, sculptures, and sketches. It shares some mystical connection with Earth, but is in grave danger. Twelve pharaohs have been captured and if they are not freed soon, an entire Artanian nation will be destroyed. But only Alex and Bartholomew’s powers can rescue them.
When he sees a struggling Artanian child pulled underground, Bartholomew finally agrees to help, not knowing if it will be enough. With Egyptian gods, goddesses, and warriors at their side, they brave a series of battles, duels, and skateboarding escapes. Bartholomew blunders again and again. Amidst dead and wounded comrades, his guilt grows. As his confidence begins to erode, he must work with Alex but it takes all of his talents and more to battle an evil race of shadowy creatures. For only the power of true creation will finally defeat Sickhert’s army and bring art back to the world.
(Laurie Woodward, January 2018)