5 books featuring reluctant heroes + The Mapmaker Chronicles giveaway!

On the blog today I am thrilled to have another guest post from author Allison Tait. Allison is the author of the fantastic The Mapmaker Chronicles series, which as family we have loved reading and cannot wait to read the fourth book in the series, Beyond the Edge of the Map, which is being released today!

TMC 4 cover

And we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the The Mapmaker Chronicles. Race To The End Of The World, the first book in The Mapmaker Chronicles series was shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize 2015 and named a Notable book in the CBCA Children’s Book Of The Year Awards 2015. Book #2, Prisoner of the Black Hawk, was shortlisted for the 2015 Aurealis Awards (Best Children’s Fiction) while Book #3, Breath of the Dragon, followed in October 2015.

Seeing Australian authors do well is something which makes me so happy and I love being able to support the launch of the latest book in Allison’s series. If you are yet to read these books, I can highly recommend them! Also be sure to check out Allison’s recommendations of other Aussie authors below.


You only need to read my books to know I love a reluctant hero. In The Mapmaker Chronicles series, Quinn, our hero, is the most unlikely of boys to find himself on a grand adventure – and yet there he is, with a new installment in his epic journey out now – Beyond the Edge of the Map!

In my new series, The Ateban Cipher, coming later this year, Gabe, our hero, finds himself out in the cold, cruel world and has no choice but to meet its challenges.

Both boys have very good reasons for stepping outside their comfort zones, and both surprise themselves as they discover along the way that maybe, just maybe, they are heroes after all.

That’s the thing about a reluctant hero: it’s easy for a reader to put themselves in the character’s shoes. Would I want to get on a ship and sail off into the unknown, facing almost certain death? Probably not. Would I be brave enough to leave the only home I’ve ever known to venture into the deep, dark woods to save an incalculable treasure? Um, not sure.

But, through the eyes of a reluctant hero, the reader can experience danger, adventure, friendship, excitement and discovery. They can recognise certain traits within the reluctant hero as being, perhaps, similar to their own. And they can begin to see that the greatest unknown that any of us can face is… ourselves.

To get your reader started, I’ve put together a list of five books featuring reluctant heroes, all by Australian authors.

Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda

The first book in a classic series for readers 10+. In a village full of strong, sturdy men, women and children, Rowan is timid and weak. Can he solve the riddle that will save the village?

You buy the book online here – Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda

Once by Morris Gleitzman

To Felix, a 10-year-old Jewish orphan, everything is a story. But nothing can save him from the horrors around him as he ventures into Nazi-occupied Poland, rescuing six-year-old Zelda along the way. 11+

You buy the book online here – Once by Morris Gleitzman

Dragonkeeper by Carol Wilkinson

Set in Ancient China, the first book in this series introduces us to a nameless slave girl who saves the life of an ancient dragon and escapes her brutal master, finding the strength and courage to make a perilous journey across China.

You buy the book online here – Dragonkeeper by Carol Wilkinson

The Adventures of Sir Roderick the Not-Very Brave by James O’Loghlin

In a land where peace is threatened by assassins, invading armies and unhappy peasants, one knight must be brave enough to protect the kingdom. Roderick doesn’t want to be that knight, but when Queen Emily sends her knights on a grand quest, he reluctantly ventures forth… A very funny adventure story for kids 9+

You buy the book online here – The Adventures of Sir Roderick the Not-Very Brave

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela

Deborah Abela, the author, has described India Wimple as ‘my most unlikely of heroes of all the characters I’ve written’ (Summer Reading Club). India must overcome crippling shyness to enter The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee. Can she do it? What if she fails? Age 7+

You buy the book online here – The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee

5 other Reluctant Hero books:

More books featuring reluctant heroes, this time by non Aussie authors:

Allison Tait is the author of The Mapmaker Chronicles series, an epic fantasy adventure for readers 9+ about a race to map the world – and a boy who really doesn’t want to go. Beyond The Edge Of The Map, book 4, is out now! Find out more about The Mapmaker Chronicles here.

Win a copy of The Mapmaker Chronicles Series!

This giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Megan who won this excellent series!


Thanks to Allison, I have one set of The Mapmaker Chronicles series to giveaway to a reader of Planning With Kids. To enter please complete the form below sharing who would like to read these books at your house and why?

Terms and conditions

  • To enter you must complete the form below. Upon entering the competition you will be signed up to The Mapmaker Chronicles newsletter. If you are reading via email, please click here to enter if you cannot see the form.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • The winner will be notified via email. You must have a valid email address to enter. If no response is received with 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • The give away will close Tues 11th April 2017.
  • The winner will be chosen by Planning With Kids based on creativity and you can only enter once.
  • Please see full terms and conditions here.