Sunday, August 6, 2017

Blog Tour: League of America Traitors by Matthew Landis...a Letter to Readers & Giveaway!

Today it's my turn to tell you about the exciting new book, League of American Traitors!

Keep reading to learn more and to read my letter to readers everywhere...
League of American Traitors
Publisher: Sky Pony
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical

Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. . . . 

When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.

First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.

His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.

Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.

Like a mash-up of National Treasure and Hamilton, Matthew Landis’s debut spins the what-ifs of American history into a heart-pounding thriller steeped in conspiracy, clue hunting, and danger.

I love history, but not in the old, awful, kill-me-now-please kind of way. My passion is convincing my students that the past is actually hilarious, shocking, tragic, disturbing, and altogether UN-boring. While getting my graduate degree in History at Villanova, I realized that there was yet one more way to do this: write contemporary young adult books laced with history to convince my students that past isn't as awful as they think. That’s a huge reason why I wrote The Judas Society.

Some other stuff: I love poetry but don’t understand it; I want Gordon Ramsay to give me a fatherly hug at some point; I tend toward the unapologetically dramatic; and (to my great shame) I didn’t read the Harry Potter series until last year. I’m also really good at covering up patent insecurities with self-deprecating humor (like this joke).

A Letter to You from Me!

Hi, it's me, Jennifer! I wasn't quite sure exactly what I wanted to do for my post today.  I had so many ideas running through my head and as I read Matthew Landis’s book, I was even more inspired.  I wanted something that would convey the intrigue of League of American Traitors as well as entertainment packed within its pages. But honestly I knew I could never do this book's like it was written for me!

However, I finally decided on a letter to YOU…my fellow readers...about a subject I love and one this book features wonderfully: history!  So here we go!

Dear Reader,

You don't really know me, but I hope you’ll read this letter anyway.

If you're like me you love history and realize how fun and fascinating it can be.  Okay…I can see some of you rolling your eyes, but trust me on this.  Our past is filled with many fascinating stories and interesting people who led extraordinary (and not-so-extraordinary) lives.  Some of these people we may never even have heard of and others are names that live on in history books (and broadway musicals) forever.  Each one has had some impact on who and what we have become...which is pretty cool if you think about it.

But history doesn't have to be dry facts, figures, and dates.  Believe me if it were, I'd be with the eye-rolling crowd.  Instead, it's all in how it's presented or how you look at it.  Author Matthew Landis understands this and demonstrates it perfectly in his book League of American Traitors.  Even though the book and its characters are fictional, there are plenty of historical figures mentioned that might make you want to learn more…well, I wanted to know more anyway (but we’ve established I'm a history nerd)…but this book is so entertaining.

You see, history affects everything (Well, obviously, Jennifer, plus you kind of said that already. What's your point?).  History can even have direct impact on individual lives for years and years and years. What if you discovered you were the descendant of a major historical figure…perhaps George Washington or Abraham Lincoln? Not bad, right? But what about a more notorious figure such as Benedict Arnold or John Wilkes Booth?  Would you be proud? Ashamed?  Would you tell people? Would you want to be treated different?  Would you join or believe in a secret society made up of descendants of heroes or traitors from American history?

In the fictional League of American Traitors, Jasper, the main character, must face some of these questions when he learns he is the last living descendant of Benedict Arnold, one of America's most notorious traitors.  Suddenly he’s thrust into a world he never knew existed, a world filled with secrets, duels, action, and adventure. Oh, and by the way, there are people who now want him big deal.  All of this just because of something his ancestor did and the secrets his father kept hidden from him.  Along the way, Jasper also meets the descendants of other traitors and heroes whose current lives have been affected by the actions of their ancestors.  

As you typically discover when you delve into the past, not everything is sunshine and roses. However, league of American Traitors still manages to be a fun and fascinating history-inspired adventure reminiscent of National Treasure.  And I hope you’ll read it because it's an awesome example of how history can be highly entertaining (and if I'm being completely honest, a little heartbreaking...yep, I cried a little...I'm a history nerd AND a sap).

In fact, there are many examples today of how history can be entertaining and make you want to know more as it affects or interests you in various ways. There are books, music, tv shows, broadway musicals, video games (Oregon Trail, anyone?), and more.  And while many of these might be mostly fictional versions, there is still a little bit of truth or inspiration in them that I encourage you to learn more about.  You may not even realize you are learning something as you watch, read, or listen (But later when a question pops up in Trivial Pursuit and you know the answer, you'll know where it came from).  So, before you turn your nose up at learning a little history remember, it's all in how you look at it.  Any historical story can be entertaining if told the right way.  

Anyway, if you've made it this far in my letter, Yay!  And remember we can't go back and change what has happened in the past (no matter what our favorite time-traveling shows tell us), but we can learn from it.  Plus history is being made everyday.  Just as we remember the past, what happens today will affect and be remembered forever by future generations (sorry, kids).  I mean, do you really think that Jane Austen or William Shakespeare thought we'd be reading and studying their work still today? Or that Alexander Hamilton thought he'd be the main character in a musical...especially one featuring such a diverse cast?

So how do you want to be remembered?  What impact do you want to have on those who come after you? 

Still think history is boring?



2 copies of LEAGUE OF AMERICAN TRAITORS by Matthew Landis
US & Canada Only
No Giveaway accounts

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer!!! This is perfection. I love the idea of a letter to your blog readers about the topic of the book. So cool. Thanks for doing this for the tour!