Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and their children.
Gr 2-4-In three stories, each divided into short chapters, Iggulden introduces Tollins, winged creatures that resemble fairies but are bigger and tougher, and live at the bottom of people's gardens. Humans can't see them without special blue glasses. Each tale features Sparkler, a Tollin of "great promise and wondrous brain," whose curiosity prompts him to learn from human books and enables him to solve his community's problems. When, in "How to Blow Up Tollins," workers at the local fireworks factory discover that using Tollins as rocket ammunition produces a shower of blue sparks and begin collecting them in jars, Sparkler devises an alternate fuel that generates similar results. Next, he faces execution for consorting with humans but entices the High Tollin to spare him by offering a cure for the leader's gout. Finally, Sparkler saves the Tollins' tunnels from flooding and his people from becoming the slaves of their dark molelike cousins from Dorset. In an attempt at humor, the writing is sometimes a bit over-the-top, as when guards train with a manual called "A Rough Guide to Guarding," and it may be difficult to root for the freedom of Tollins who use fairies "to wipe out the insides of cups" or blow their noses. But the humorous full-page illustrations that open each chapter, the maps, and the many vignettes throughout bring these creatures to life, and with several clever videos on YouTube and a savethetollins.com Web site, they are sure to have many followers.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
* The Dangerous Book for Boys has sold over 3 million copies around the world * Conn Iggulden was the first author to hit the top of the non-fiction and fiction bestseller lists simultaneously * This is a fairytale with bite - perfect for parents who despair of finding fun stories for their boys!