If you enjoy adventure or fantasy stories,
The RYDER is a must read book
- Well suited for family reading.
- Recommended as a book study in the classroom (Grades 4-6).
- A great read for the young at heart.
- Excellent for home schoolers.Â
- Complete with comprehension questions.
- A great read for the young at heart.Â
- Filled withÂ adventure and suspense
Two of the main characters, David and Jessica, are visiting their grandparentsâ€™ farm in the Cariboo, British Columbia, Canada. Previously, they welcomed these visits with great enthusiasm, but this time itâ€™s different. Things have changed.
Without warning, through a series of strange events, they becomeÂ involved inÂ an unusual and exciting childrenâ€™s adventure in the land of Antoch, where dreams come true and life is never what you expect.
Will Jessica escape the lionâ€™s den?
What will happen to David, trapped high up on the treacherous mountain, alone, face to face with the huge mountain cat?
Who is The Ryder, a man of mystery, who affects everyone he meets?
What inspired me to write The RYDER?
As a child growing up in a small Canadian prairie town, I loved to read. I could travel all over the world from the safety of a large stuffed armchair.
Our school library was so small I had read every book several times by the time I reached Grade 5.
Books had a tremendous impact on my intellectual life. Because of their impact on my life, I knew that books could impact others. I started to write in grade school. I created fantasy stories with many characters and imaginative plots. Through my imagination I let them travel and experience many adventures.
I am particularly partial to fantasy/adventure stories.
My imagination didnâ€™t stop when I grew up. I have read many stories to my own children and often thought that I too could write the childrenâ€™s story that would capture the hearts of the young at heart.
After two years of writing courses, I eagerly embarked on my new adventure, writing and illustrating the story â€“ The RYDER. After months of hard work, this fantasy adventure story was available in print.
What do educators say about Â â€“ The RYDER?
â€œThe characters come alive for the reader as they go through adventure after adventure. This is a book you wonâ€™t want to put down until youâ€™ve read it all.,â€ Says Donna S., elementary teacher.
Ruth W, school librarian says, â€œThe Ryder is an interesting fantasy that explores the concept of a spiritual journey within a context that is understandable to children.â€
April P, teacher said her class read The Ryder and no one wanted the childrenâ€™s adventure to end.
â€œIt is a captivating novel with a fast paced plot and dramatic action which teaches life changing lessons that only he (The Ryder) can teach to the storyâ€™s three dimensional characters.â€
â€œThe Ryder, a childrenâ€™s adventure, fantasy story, can be comprehended at many levels, but will be particularly enjoyable to grades 4 to 7â€ Writer, editor, filmmaker, W.W. .
This childrenâ€™s adventure story â€¦ â€œis an exciting, action-packed fantasy adventure story for children and adults alike. The characters come alive for the reader as they go through adventure after adventure. The Ryder is a book you wonâ€™t want to put down until youâ€™ve read it all,â€ says Donna S, elementary teacher.
What do kids say about Â â€“ The RYDER?
Iâ€™m sure you can imagine how excited I was when I started getting feedback from the students.
“Dear Carrie Wachsmann
I am a big fan of yours. I have just finished reading your book, The Ryder, which I borrowed from my teacher. Thank you for writing this wonderful book. Would you please send me a copy it. Also, would you please autograph my book for me.
Your biggest fan ever,”
Marlin T grade 4
“This book is a great, imaginative story, full of adventures and fantasy.”
Heather. 12 years old
“I really enjoyed The Ryder because of all the battles and suspenseful moments throughout the story. I have always like suspenseful stories.”
Luke. 12 years
“I think this is a great book. I found it very interesting and the pictures are great. Donâ€™t miss this exciting book.”
Jonathan. 12 years
“I liked the way Mrs. Wachsmann foreshadowed things that would happen later and the way The Ryder would always come when everything seemed like all is lost and the enemy seemed to have won.”
Lindsey 12 years
“I like the book because something exciting always happens in each chapter.”
Andy age 11
“I like the fact that when you stop reading the book and it ends, you just want it to keep going.”
Curtis 12 years
“I liked this story because it was easy to read. Itâ€™s a story of all ages. Youâ€™re not too young to read it and youâ€™re not too old to read it. The story itself was a fairy tale but it had a point and I liked that Mrs. Wachsmann has a good way with words and it shows. I really enjoyed the Ryder and I look forward to the next adventure with David and Jessica.”
Erin age 12
Each time I read the comments from one of my readers, I am inspired to write and to keep on writing. Thank you readers.
I am very pleased that the childrenâ€™s story, The Ryder is now available on Amazon for Kindle. This project was both fun to tackle and very rewarding. This time around I was able to add some illustrations created with Photoshop and my Wacom Tablet.
The Ryder is:
Well suited for family reading.
Recommended as a book study in the classroom (Grades 4-6).
A great read for the young at heart.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Grandparentâ€™s Farm
Chapter 2 The Very Important Book
Chapter 3 The Mysterious Stranger
Chapter 4 The Cabin in the Woods
Chapter 5 The Legend of Antoch
Chapter 6 Davidâ€™s Secret Fear
Chapter 7 The Storm and The Cat
Chapter 8 Face to Face with Gore
Chapter 9 Jessica, Harlan, and the Desert
Chapter 10 In the Lionsâ€™ Den
Chapter 11 Come, Run with Me
Chapter 12 The Essence and the Song
Chapter 13 The Reunion
Chapter 14 Princess Sara
Chapter 15 Surprise in the Dungeon
Chapter 16 A Picnic in the Meadow
Chapter 17 Final Confrontation
Chapter 18 Long Live King Valiant
Chapter 19 Must We Say Goodbye?
A little about Â The RYDER:
David and Jessica have just arrived at their grandparentâ€™s farm in the Cariboo. Previously, they welcomed these visits with great enthusiasm, but this time is different. Things have changed.
With a satisfied sigh, Grandpa Hilton pushed himself away from the dinner table and leaned back against the sturdy old captainâ€™s chair.
â€œGrandma dear, that was delicious.â€ He said, wiping the crumbs from his bushy, Fu Manchu moustache. Reaching across from the table, he helped himself to a toothpick and began to clean his teeth in a familiar and distinctive manner.
Dinner had been eaten in awkward silence. Jessica and David had arrived that afternoon and would be spending the following summer months in the Cariboo with their grandparents. Normally, the prospect of spending two months on the ranch would delight them, but this year was different. The previous week their father had left, (â€œa separationâ€ they called it) and now they were sent to their grandparentâ€™s, â€œto get away from it all,â€ as David put it. These unpleasant circumstances had left the childrenâ€™s enthusiasm for the farm seriously wanting.
Grandma Hilton, a stout little woman, her handsome face softly lined with age, looked questioningly at her husband sitting at the far end of the table. Raising his bushy eyebrows, he responded by shrugging his huge shoulders as if to say, â€œand what do we do now?â€ And thatâ€™s when Grandma came right out with it.
â€œI think we ought to talk about your parentsâ€™ separation, Jessica, David. Donâ€™t you agree Harold?â€ She said. â€œWe really need to deal with this issue, especially since youâ€™ll be spending the summer with us.â€
Jessica looked down at her hands clasped tightly in her lap, and fiercely bit her bottom lip to keep it from trembling. She was determined not to cry. That would only make things worse. David would make fun of her and she couldnâ€™t bear that right now. She snuck a glance at her older brother, slunk deep in his chair, feet thrust under the table, with both hands dug deep in the pockets of his faded blue denims.
Oh, she hated him right then. HE didnâ€™t seem to care at all. He didnâ€™t need mom and dad around any more, at least that was what he had said. After all he was thirteen and she was only just ten. But somehow, she couldnâ€™t quite believe it didnâ€™t matter to him that mom and dad didnâ€™t live together any more.
â€œI know how difficult your parentsâ€™ separation is for you,â€ Grandma continued, her voice revealing that warmth and earnestness of her heart. â€œWe love your mother and father too and it hurts us to see this happening to the family. Despite what is happening between them, you must remember that they both love you very much.â€
Again Jessica fought back the tears that welled up in her big brown eyes. How she wanted to hear those words. If only she could be sure. Davidâ€™s response was quite another matter. Tossing his dark head back in defiance, he merely mumbled under his breath, a disbelieving, grunting sound. Then he stared past them all, and out the large picture window.
That is when Grandpa Hilton stood up, cleared his throat and said in his most authoritative voice, â€œItâ€™s time we all clear off the table. Then David and I are going to take a walk down to the stables to have a look at some of the new colts.â€
Giving Grandma a reassuring wink, he began to gather up the dirty dishes. â€œNow son,â€ he said encouragingly, placing a firm hand on Davidâ€™s shoulder, â€œweâ€™ve all got to pitch in. Only way to get things done around here, remember?â€
In a few minutes, the dishes were piled high in the sink and Grandma and David were off to the stables. Jessica stood alone in the kitchen. She had always loved this cheerful room. The evening sun, still bright and warm, beamed thought the spacious windows and danced across the little kitchen. Grandmaâ€™s plants seemed to thrive in the cozy atmosphere, and Jessica thought it must be because Grandma always sang while she worked. She had read somewhere that plants like people to talk and sing to them. It is supposeÂ to help them grow, they said.
â€œDo you really understand it when someone talks to you?â€ She asked a little ivy that was reaching its way up the side of the sill, as if to get as close to the warm sunshine as possible. â€œMaybe you can just feel if I like you. I do like plants you know. Goodness, you look rather dry.â€
â€œYes, Ivy could use a nice glass of warm water Jessica,â€ Grandmas said as she walked into the kitchen, tying her crisp apron around her ample waist. â€œThen you can get the tea towel and weâ€™ll work on these dishes.â€
Jessica felt a little silly, realizing Grandma had heard her conversation with the plant. She was about to explain that she thought talking to plants was really quite silly, when Grandma said, â€œPlants like to be around people, you know, listen to them sing and talk. I think they like to be told theyâ€™re loved, just like humans.â€
Jessica giggled. â€œI was just thinking about that,â€ she said. â€œYou must love them a whole lot â€˜cause theyâ€™re beautiful.
â€œOh Grandma, I do love you so,â€ Jessica said, gratefully throwing her arms around her grandmotherâ€™s neck. â€œAnd Grandpa too, and the farm. Itâ€™s just that Iâ€™m so sad sometimes and afraid, and David, heâ€™s being mean.â€
â€œWell sweetheart,â€ Grandma said putting her hands into the soapy dishwater, â€œthatâ€™s all going to change.â€
â€œWhat makes you say that?â€ asked Jessica hopefully.
â€œOh, itâ€™s just a feeling that I have,â€ she said smiling. â€œI guess you could say I know something you donâ€™t know. Iâ€™m certain this summer is going to be very special for the both of you.â€
And to be sure, a very special summer began for them that very night.
The Very Important Book
David and Jessica, curled up in the weathered chesterfield beside the warm crackling fire, were enjoying a cup of hot chocolate milk, when Jessica, who loved warm fires and stories, piped, â€œGrandpa, please tell us a story before we go to bed.â€
Davidâ€™s face lit up just a little, for although he thought that he was too old for bedtime stories, he couldnâ€™t help but listen to one of Grandpaâ€™s. Now Grandpa Hilton was a very wise man, even if he was quite old, and he knew just what the children needed. Taking a rusty key from the pocket of his tired, but very comfortable housecoat, he pulled a large, ancient looking book from the top shelf of the bookcase. Carefully he unlocked the golden case.
â€œOoooh,â€ gasped Jessica, her face eager with anticipation. â€œWhat a beautiful book!â€ she exclaimed, reaching out her little hand to caress the shiny cover.
â€œWhy do you keep it looked up, Grandpa?â€ she questioned.
â€œOh donâ€™t ask such stupid questions,â€ chimed in David, giving his sister one of his â€˜know it allâ€™ looks. â€œI bet itâ€™s a very important book, and you always lock up things that are very important, donâ€™t you know!â€
Jessicaâ€™s hand dropped to her lap. She screwed up her little freckled nose and stuck her tongue out at David in disdain. Before it could develop into an argument, Grandpa sat down between the two and said, â€œNow, now lad, donâ€™t be so hard on your sister. And watch your language. Stupid is not a word we want to use.â€ He looked into the boyâ€™s handsome face, that so reminded him of himself so many years ago. â€œActually, yes, this book is a very special book. Youâ€™re right David, and it has been in our family for years. The last time it was opened was when your mother was a child. In fact, it would do her good to open its cover for herself right now. Some day this book will be yours, when youâ€™re old enough, and know how to care for it and use it properly. You see children, (and it was at this point that Grandpa got a very curious look in his eyes) the stories in this book are always different.â€ He went on, his voice barely audible. â€œIt has a mystery about it that even I do not fully understand.â€
After a long pause, which really wasnâ€™t very long but just seemed that way, Grandpa said in his clear and normal voice, â€œIâ€™m not going to say another word. I wouldnâ€™t want to spoil anything for you.â€ Carefully and with what Jessica thought was reverence, he opened the book.
The first page revealed a fascinating, full page picture of two children standing on a path in the middle of a dark and misty forest. They appeared rather frightened and lost, and it looked like they were wearing their pajamas! Underneath the picture were four lines, which David read aloud.
WHEN LOST IN THE MYSTERIOUS FOREST,
THROUGH ENEMY LAND HE RIDES
CALL FOR HIM AND HE WILL BE,
THE LIGHT WHERE DARKNESS HIDES.
Jessica read the words again and again, puzzling over their meaning. â€œThis story sounds scary,â€ she said a little apprehensively. â€œIt will turn out all right, wonâ€™t it?â€ she asked, looking up at her Grandfather questioningly.
â€œYes, dear one, Iâ€™m certain it will,â€ he said, smiling reassuringly. Only then did they notice the picture on the opposite side. The page itself radiated light; pure, white and glowing. Soft, cotton like clouds, curled themselves gently around the edges of the picture. Then, in the center, a gloriously shining white horse appeared, his full mane, tail and hooves, sparkling like silver. Holding his majestic head high, he was truly a picture of beauty, grace, and elegance. Davidâ€™s mouth dropped open, his eyes wide with delight. Jessica too stared in awe at the magnificent animal.
â€œOh David, have you ever seen anything more beautiful?â€ she whispered, her voice lost in excitement. And then, the page began to radiate so much brightness that both Jessica and David had to cover their eyes to protect themselves from the glare. In a few seconds however, Jessicaâ€™s eyes began to adjust to the light and she could now see the figure of a man astride the horse. Although she was able to gaze upon him for only seconds at a time, she sensed a glory and majesty about him that was indescribable. His face shone with great kindness and love, yet to look on him, caused her to break out in goose bumps from head to toe.
David, try as he might, could not open his eyes. For the blazing light was too much for him. Suddenly the phenomenon disappeared.
Only the scene with the dark forest and the two lost children was left. Before either David or Jessica could react, something very strange (even stranger than what had happened up to now) began to happen. The children, transfixed, stared at the picture, which unobtrusively began to grow larger and larger, or so it seemed, until the darkness surrounded them and they found themselves floating helplessly through the sky.
In desperation, they flung their arms and legs about wildly. Jessicaâ€™s face had turned a sickly ashen color, and even Davidâ€™s face looked ghastly. David grasped wildly at the picture frame, which was fast slipping, from his reach, but to no avail. And then, after what seemed like a very long time, they landed softly on their behinds, in the middle of a very dark, and misty forest.