Born in Tipton, IN.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Little, Brown & Co./Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
Children's book author.
The Secret of Castle Cant: Being an Account of the Remarkable Adventures of Lucy Wickwright, Maidservant and Spy, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Escape from Castle Cant, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2006.
An obscure, anachronistic region that recalls the Dutchy of Grand Fenwick brought to light by novelist Leonard Wibberley in his classic cold war-era satire The Mouse That Roared, the Barony of Cant is the creation of imaginative children's writer K.P. Bath. A tiny, isolated region in Europe that lost touch with technological ad-
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vances sometime during the Middle Ages, Cant and its residents—Cantlings—nonetheless are subjected to a trickle of modernity in the form of chewing gum, jeans, and the worn-out athletic shoes distributed by American overseas charitable missions. Against this backward backdrop, Bath sets his novel The Secret of Castle Cant: Being an Account of the Remarkable Adventures of Lucy Wickwright, Maidservant and Spy as well as the sequel Escape from Castle Cant.
In The Secret of Castle Cant readers meet eleven-year-old Lucy Wickwright, an orphan who now works as a servant to Pauline, spoiled daughter of Lord Cant. The barony is currently threatened by a disgruntled faction of Cantlings whose members rail against the tithes levied on commoners to pay for the nobles' chewing gum—a rare and costly import with addictive qualities. Soon Lucy becomes a pawn in the political chess match between an imprisoned rebel leader and the malicious Commissioner Orloff, who is scheming to gain power over Pauline. When Lucy comes into possession of a long-held castle secret, she must chose whether to improve her own lot in life, or deny herself for the sake of Pauline. In Booklist Jennifer Mattson praised the novel's whimsical and "decidedly rousing" storyline, dubbing the Barony of Cant a "seductively quirky, pinprick of a kingdom." Noting the tale's appeal to fans of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" stories, a Kirkus Reviews contributor called the likeable Lucy an "unpretentious, underdog heroine," while Connie Tyrrell Burns wrote in School Library Journal that Bath's novel "is quirky, funny, and rife with social satire; his style, full of puns, similes, and alliteration, and just the right tone of tongue-in-cheek pomposity, is delightful."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, November 15, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Secret of Castle Cant: Being an Account of the Remarkable Adventures of Lucy Wickwright, Maidservant and Spy, p. 595.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2004, Timnah Card, review of The Secret of Castle Cant, p. 7.
Children's Bookwatch, February, 2005, review of The Secret of Castle Cant.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of The Secret of Castle Cant, p. 860.
Library Media Connection, April-May, 2005, Sharon R. Strock, review of The Secret of Castle Cant, p. 76.
School Library Journal, September, 2004, Connie Tyrrell Burns, review of The Secret of Castle Cant, p. 198.
Kidreads.com, http://www.kidsreads.com/ (May 5, 2006), Ashley Hartlaub, review of The Secret of Castle Cant.
Time Warner Bookmark, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (May 5, 2006), "K.P. Bath."