Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

(Book #1 of The Guardians)
Illustrated by: William Joyce / Read by: Gerard Doyle
For Ages: 7 - 11
  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
Don't miss The Rise of the Guardians, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters November 2012.

Before SANTA was SANTA, he was North, Nicholas St. North—a daredevil swordsman whose prowess with double scimitars was legendary. Like any swashbuckling young warrior, North seeks treasure and adventure, leading him to the fiercely guarded village of Santoff Claussen, said to be home to the greatest treasure in all the East, and to an even greater wizard, Ombric Shalazar. But when North arrives, legends of riches have given way to terrors of epic proportions! North must decide whether to seek his fortune…or save the village.

When our rebellious hero gets sucked into the chaos (literally), the fight becomes very personal. The Nightmare King and his evil Fearlings are ruling the night, owning the shadows, and sending waves of fear through all of Santoff Clausen. For North, this is a battle worth fighting...and, he’s not alone. There are five other Guardians out there. He only has to find them in time.
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  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9781442348011 | 
  • October 2011 | 
  • Grades 2 - 6
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Video

William Joyce discusses The Guardians of Childhood

"A fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairytale world. Dark. Mysterious. Stunning!" --MAURICE SENDAK, Caldecott-winning creator of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In Which The Great War
Is Renewed


THE BATTLE OF THE Nightmare King began on a moonlit night long ago. In the quiet town of Tangle-wood, a small boy and his smaller sister woke with a start. Like most children (and some adults at one time or another), they were afraid of the dark. They each slowly sat up in bed, clutching their covers around themselves like a shield. Too fearful to rise and light a candle, the boy pushed aside the curtains and peered out the window, looking for the only other light to be seen during these long-ago nights—the Moon. It was there, full and bright.

At that moment a... see more

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Excerpt 1 of 5

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare
King (
part of the Guardians series)

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer


Discussion Questions

1. What does Ombric mean when he says, “To understand pretending is to conquer all barriers of time and space?” Is there any practical use for this saying in our own society? If so, who would use it and why? If not, why not?

2. Ombric wanted a village that seemed impossible. Discuss with the group their image of an impossible village.

3. What are some characteristics of a wizard? How does Ombric compare to the list?

4. What are nightmares? Have your group members ever experienced one? What did they do to stop the nightmare? How do they make themselves feel safe at night? Does anyone use a night-light?

5. One of the major themes in this story is good versus bad. Is there any such thing as absolute good or absolute bad? Are people born good or bad? Is goodness or badness something they learn?

6. Pitch wants to capture the good dreams of innocent children and turn them into nightmares. How does one protect oneself from having a nightmare?

7. What was your first impression of Ombric the Wizard upon reading the description of him and his talents, such as turning lead into gold, being able to walk through walls, his invention of time, and being able to stop time? Of all of Ombric see more

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