Stone villains and a talking squirrel: Bruce Roberts on Brant Waldeck’s middle-school adventure Guardians of the Scepter.


Guardians of the Scepter,

By Brant Waldeck: A Review.


My third grade granddaughter, Sophia, is excited. Weeks ago, she saw my copy of Secret of the Portals, the first in this kids’ adventure series by Brant Waldeck. Reading the cover, she was hooked, and begged to take it home to read—which she did.

Last week she spotted Guardians of the Scepter, second in the series, in the book pile on my desk, awaiting review. Her eyes lit up, and after reading the cover, wanted it: “Can I please, please, please take it home, Grandpa?” Well, no, because I’ve been busy, and hadn’t written the review yet. But here it is, and the book will soon be hers.

Kids need interesting, exciting books to read if they are to develop the lifelong reading habit. A book with heroes, villains, battles, superpowers, and of course a talking squirrel is just the ticket to grab kids by the imagination and pull them into a fantasy story that hones their reading skills. This series by Brant Waldeck, written to entertain his own kids, are such books.

The first, Secret of the Portals, introduces us to Tommy and Bruten and their families, two seemingly ordinary kids who grow and develop in new worlds, entered through magic portals from our world. In the World of Stone, especially, Bruten discovers near super powers battling stone villains, using a phenomenal weapon called the Scepter.

In the second, Guardians of the Scepter, we learn that this scepter has a long association with their families, and that as this history is revealed, the plot gets more and more interesting, for both good and evil powers want this mighty weapon.

Pursued by villains on Earth, bent on capturing the Scepter, Bruten and Tommy escape through yet another portal to Cerebra, a land where certain people possess amazing mental powers. Yet this time it’s Tommy, not Bruten, who develops in amazing ways that he never knew possible.

The plot twists and turns through surprise after surprise, as new heroes emerge to help them, battling villains that they never would have suspected, all obsessed with the power of the Scepter.

These books will not enthuse adult readers—too simple–but then adults are not the target audience. For kids though, say ages 9 through 12, who need to read everything they can, these are books that will hold their attention, pulling them to finish, and that’s how lifelong readers are developed.

“OK,OK,Sophie, you can have the book now!”


Bruce Roberts, April, 2013

 Bruce Roberts is a poet, artist and retired schoolteacher from Hayward, California. He may be reached at


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  1. Pingback: Synchronized Chaos » Blog Archive » May 2013: Journeys through Time, Space, and the Mind

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