Monday, May 11, 2015

The Wisdom of Merlin by T.A. Barron -- and a Giveaway!






The Wisdom of Merlin: Seven Magical Words for a Meaningful Life by T.A. Barron (hardcover, Philomel Books, 80 pages, for ages 10 and up)

Synopsis (from the publisher): A book of advice from Merlin, the greatest wizard of all time.

Based on an address he gave to students at the University of Oxford in 2013, T.A. Barron, author of the New York Times bestselling Merlin Saga, channels the wizard Merlin and offers advice on how to live a meaningful life.  Divided into sections, each revolving around a magical word, this book poetically explores the concepts of Gratitude, Courage, Knowledge, Belief, Wonder, Generosity, Hope, and an extra one: Love.


Why I recommend it: It's beautiful and inspiring and fairly bursting with optimism. Kids and adults would all do well to listen to the sage and up-to-date advice of the ancient wizard Merlin (as presented by T.A. Barron). Even if you've never read T.A. Barron's Merlin series (and why haven't you?), you'll find much to love here. The short chapters and slim size mean even reluctant readers could handle this. 

Favorite lines: "Sometimes, turn off your electronic equipment--all of it...  Because being serene and quiet now and then gives us the space to feel grateful. You see, being fully scheduled is not the same as being fully alive."  (from p. 11)


Ah, Merlin would have believed in Screen-Free week


Bonus: This book makes an excellent graduation gift or even a birthday gift for a special someone in your life.




T.A. Barron, from his website


T.A. Barron's website (be sure to watch the trailer for the book)

Through the generosity of the publisher AND the author (thank you!), I ended up with two copies of this hardcover. So I'm giving away one of them, along with a paperback of the newly revised and updated The Hero's Trail, another inspirational gem of nonfiction from author and conservationist T.A. Barron.



That's right. One lucky winner will win both the hardcover of The Wisdom of Merlin and the paperback of The Hero's Trail. This giveaway is open to anyone age 12 and up. International entries welcome. To enter, you MUST be a follower of this blog and you MUST leave a comment on this post. This giveaway will end at 10 pm EDT on Sunday May 24 and I'll announce the winner on Monday May 25.


34 comments:

  1. Perfect timing as I've been looking for a good graduation gift. The Merlin series got me started with T.A. Barron and these non-fiction titles sound fantastic. Thanks for featuring.

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  2. Both of these sounds really neat, Joanne. That quote totally sold me on the first one! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Yes, that's an awesome quote. Let someone else win who has kids.

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    1. Isn't that a great quote? Nice of you to let someone else win, Natalie.

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  4. Love that quote! So true, will definitely be checking them both out.

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  5. Thanks for telling me about these. Perfect for the graduation season. Please let someone else win, though. I am buried in books right now.

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  6. I haven't heard of this series, so now I'm going to look for it. I LOVE that quote. I am trying to be more mindful of when and why I'm using my electronic devices.

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    1. The Merlin Saga is a series of fantasy novels starting with The Lost Years. As far as I know, this is the first time T.A. Barron has used Merlin in an inspirational gift book. But they're all worth reading, Andrea.

      And I'm trying to do the same thing with screen time.

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  7. Oh, I know the perfect graduate that would love to add these to her collection! She's a big T.A. Barron fan. She read The Lost Years of Merlin when she was 7 (!) and she's been a big fantasy fan ever since.

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    1. That's wonderful, Rebecca! She sounds like a great reader. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  8. I'm a huge fan of anything related to wizards, so I'm down for THE WISDOM OF MERLIN. Thanks for the review! :-)

    ~Cindy

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    1. You're welcome, Cindy. Good luck in the drawing.

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  9. This sounds awesome! Can you enter me?

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  10. I love Merlin and The Merlin Saga! This is so exciting! The advice sounds like it will make us stop and think. I loved the quote you shared. Thanks so much for sharing and for the chance to win a copy! I am an old follower. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I know you are, and thanks so much, Jess!

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  11. Thanks for the nice review, Joanne. Good advice about turning off electronic equipment!

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    1. I'm trying to follow that advice more often, Connie!

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  12. My grandson is graduating eighth grade next month. I think this would be a great book for him to have. Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. This would be perfect for him, Rosi. Good luck in the drawing!

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  13. Sorry I missed this last week! I just loved the beautiful cover and the quote you shared. I've found that a break from the electronics always helps me to think and write better.
    Thanks for featuring these!

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    1. No worries, Jenni. I know you were sick. Hope you're feeling better. I love the cover too.

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  14. My eldest graduates high school on May 29th. Even if I don't win, I am giving him a copy of this one! (And I am a huge Merlin fan as well.) Off to Tweet about this!

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    1. I saw your tweet, Michael. Thank you! I neglected to put it in the rules, but I usually give an extra chance to someone who tweets.

      Congrats to your eldest!

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  15. I'm a Merlin fan, and I'm a T. A. Barron fan. Love his series, The Lost Years of Merlin, and I've recently started reading his new series.

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    1. I remember that you're a T.A. Barron fan, Elizabeth, from when I reviewed the first book in his new series, Atlantis Rising.

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  16. I'm glad this was up a second week, as I missed it last week! What a fun concept, and set of books! Count me in. :)

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    1. That's why I usually allow two weeks for a giveaway, Suzanne. Good luck in the drawing.

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  17. I love all things Merlin and haven't read this series! Would love to! The one on kid heroes looks great too. I just launched a Kid Heroes series on my site. It's so wonderful to be inspired by youth no matter how old we get - we can learn from them.

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    1. So true, Donna. Thanks. I'll check out your site.

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.