PERSONAL: Male. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting old maps, water polo, roller coasters.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Deseret Book Company, P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0178.
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (children's fiction), illustrated by Ben Sowards, Shadow Mountain (Salt Lake City, UT), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Four more books in the "Foo" series, including book two, Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret.
SIDELIGHTS: Obert Skye's first book, Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, is the initial offering in a series of books about an Oklahoma teenager who finds himself enmeshed in a world where reality and dreams meet. In an interview with Doug Wright, posted on DeseretBook.com, the author explained that "the entire idea started to come to me because of a certain part of the earth that I was at, I was in a forest,… and how the ground was connecting with the trees and [all,] just started in my mind thinking about the existence of where dreams and hopes might be and where they might be hidden. And so that was really the first strings and strands of a beginning of the discovery of Foo."
The book's hero, Leven—"Lev"—is introduced to the world of Foo, a type of metaphysical dreamland inhabited by an assortment of strange beings, by three Foovians who have come to recruit Lev to save both their world and his own. Sabine, an inhabitant of this world is so evil that his own shadow tries to run away from him. Sabine is on a mission to find and cross the gate between reality and Foo, thus merging the two together into a world of evil. Lev is chosen to help thwart Sabine's plan because, as the only descendent of the gate's creator, he alone has the ability to destroy the portal. He also has a personal stake in thwarting the villain; Sabine is intent on killing him. In addition to his newfound Foo allies, one of whom has taken on the form of a toothpick, Lev is assisted in his quest by a young girl named Winter who appears to be average until circumstances prove otherwise. In a review of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo in School Library Journal, Steven Engelfried called the book a "lighthearted fantasy" and noted that the "complicated plot unwinds through a playful narrative." A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented that the book has "splendidly unpredictable plot twists" and an "intriguing vision of a reality that is wider than most of us suspect."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, p. 296.
School Library Journal, April, 2005, review of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, p. 142.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2005, review of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo, p. 62.
Deseret Book Web site, http://deseretbook.com/ (April 24, 2005), Doug Wright, interview transcript from KSL Radio.
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo Web site, http://www.leventhumps.com/ (August 21, 2005).