BB_SLWA: Play! Call out a letter then find an object beginnings with it. #homeliteracytips
Jake’s fingers squashed into an old banana. He grimaced and dug deeper until he reached the bottom of the bag. “This feels really bad, Em,” he said. He held his breath and pulled out what had once been his apprentice librarian book. It was now a soggy, mouldy mess.
“Ew, gross!” shrieked Emily.
“It smells like chunky milk,” said Jake turning pale. “Grand Master Batty is going to feed me to the dragon for sure.”
“Oh stop being so dramatic,” said Emily as she dragged him up the stairs. “Besides, you know the Book Dragon is a vegetarian.”
As they stepped through the giant library doors Jake dropped his book. Emily gasped. The Library was in ruins. All the shelves had been knocked over. The ornate welcome desk was smashed into pieces. Books covered the floor and there was a hole through one of the walls. Keats The Cat leapt through the hole, startling them. “Keats, who did this?” asked Jake.
“Queen Beebee’s henchmen,” replied Keats. “She has taken over the kingdom! Follow me.” Through the hole was a room lit by glow-lanterns. Grand Master Batty turned as they entered. His arm was wrapped in a thick bandage and his silver hair was wild.
“She has stolen The Book!”
“What book?” asked Jake.
“The Illuminated Book of Storytopia!” cried Batty. “The what book of what?” asked Jake.
Batty sighed. “During the Great Story War, one hundred years ago, a wicked wolf cast a terrible spell and became the ruler of Storytopia. There were no happy endings for anyone. So the Good Kings and Queens met in secret and created a counter-spell that returned balance, and happy endings, to our kingdom. The wicked wolf fled. Ever since then we librarians have guarded The Book that holds the spell.”
Jake’s mouth hung open.
“Now Queen Beebee has stolen The Book and taken over the palace!”
Keats jumped onto the table and said, “When she stole The Book the spell broke into pieces to protect itself. The fragments have hidden themselves across Storytopia. If we can gather up all the parts of the spell we can stop Queen Beebee.”
“But how can we do that? We’re only first year apprentices,” squeaked Emily.
“Surely someone else can do it,” said Jake.
“There is no-one else. You are the last librarians!” said Keats.
“Our kingdom needs us,” said Batty. “I must stay here and prepare to rebind The Book. Keats will help you on your quest.”
Jake bit his lip and nodded. “How will we find the spell-pieces?” he asked.
“The spell lived in the Library for so long it will be hiding amongst other words. I know you will be able to find it, the spell likes librarians.” Batty pushed his glasses up his nose and stared at Emily and Jake for a moment. "You have almost finished your first year of librarian training. There should be a proper ceremony, but there is no time.” He picked up a sparkling quill and a silver inkpot from the table. He drew a spiral on each of their hands with ink that made their skin shiver. The spirals glowed bright green and then faded away. “Jake and Emily, you are now Librarians of the Emerald Grade. Throughout their training every librarian gains unique powers which are useful to our work in the library.”
“I don’t feel any different,” said Jake.
“Your power will reveal itself in your time of greatest need,” said Batty turning to the table. “There is more. Jake take this map, it will guide you. Emily, these glasses will help you to see magic. Take this bag too, it will hold more than you think. Be safe. Be brave. Be quick. We only have until midnight five days from now. The spell is too fragile to last any longer outside The Book. Good luck!
Written by Samantha Hughes
Collect your Hairy Tales of Heroboy cards from your library to read the rest of the story!