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
For Ages: 7 - 11
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.
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442430488 | 
  • October 2011 | 
  • Grades 2 - 6 | 
  • Lexile 850L

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

Activity Sheets

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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

More Books from this Author

A Bean, a Stalk and a Boy Named Jack
The Numberlys
The Sandman and the War of Dreams
The Mischievians
Boom Boom Go Away!

About the Authors

William Joyce
photograph (c) Tony Reans

William Joyce

William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (Billy’s Booger; The Numberlys; The Man in the Moon; Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King; A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack; and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also an Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives with his family in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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Laura Geringer

Laura Geringer is the author of many highly acclaimed books for children and young adults, including the celebrated A Three Hat Day illustrated by Arnold Lobel; Myth Men, a popular series of graphic novels based on the classic Greek myths; and Sign of the Qin, Book l of the Outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh series, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Boom, Boom Go Away illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. She serves on the National Advisory Board of First Book, a charity that has distributed over seventy million books to children in need. Laura lives in New York City.

 

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