The delightful Chess Quest Series by Michael Young brings the wonder of knights of the old realm into modern day
When his grandmother goes missing Rich Witz sets out to find her. His discovers he’s the last heir to a line of White Knights who, in a long-standing battle, have been protecting the world from the evil one. Now, with the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead.
Though tagged as middle grade, the Chess Quest Series, will delight anyone who enjoys a bit of fantasy mixed in with the everyday. The struggles Rich encounters are ones everyone can relate to. I highly recommend you purchase the whole series at once or you’ll be left hanging by a thread when the first one ends. Especially since the books are currently on sale for only 99c each.
Michael Young, a school teacher, has a great sense for what a typical middle school kid faces each day. He currently teaches a 2nd grade Dual Language Immersion, which means he has two classes of about 25 students apiece. He teaches them math, German, and science completely in German. He has each class for half a day and the rest of the time they are with his English-speaking teaching partner.
Besides teaching and writing Michael sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Along with his rolls as husband and father I wondered when he was able to find the time to write. Turns out, like many creatives, Michael is a night owl. Though his writing time is very limited he tries to make the most of what time he has. He is a great example of the “slow and steady” principle. Between that and being consistent he finds it ends up being enough. His favorite writing spot is to hang out in his recliner in the basement. He likes to kick back and let the words flow.
Michael’s current project is one he’s been immersed in for years. He’s been working on a pair of hymnbooks that will bring together the new music of a whole bunch of different composers. He feels it will really make a difference and is excited because he can finally see the like at the end of this particular tunnel.
Of course, since Michael sings with a world-famous choir I had to ask him what his favorite hymn to sing with them is. The first thing that came to mind was “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” [which I approve us as I’m related to Julia Ward Howe]. Another favorite is Mack Wilberg’s “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”.
Just for fun I asked Michael what he would do if he had to frivolously spend $1,000. His response shows where his heart lies: I’d set up a “date night” plan for the rest of the year, with season tickets to a couple theaters and gift cards for a bunch of dining experiences so that my wife and I could work hard and play hard. It seems there’s never enough left over to just go have fun.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Michael Young and his fabulous Chest Quest Series.