Press Room

Christian Educators Endorse Gavin Goodfellow - Post Date: July 2, 2007

GEORGETOWN, DE – Two Sussex County Christian school educators recently announced plans to include Gavin Goodfellow: The Lure of Burnt Swamp into their eighth-grade language arts curriculum.

Written by Georgetown independent publisher Candy Abbott, the contemporary Christian fantasy is about a 12-year-old, dyslexic boy who unwittingly encounters dark forces in the fictional town of Ashboro. Called to make personal choices which require him to overcome his own character flaws, Gavin’s decisions will determine the fate of everyone in his hometown and beyond.

When Lucy Dutton, educational director at Milton-based Eagle’s Nest Christian Academy, received the book, she immediately placed it in the hands of her eighth grade teacher to read to the class at the end of the school year. "I was surprised by how eagerly she responded,” Abbott says. “Mrs. Dutton told me that there is a real need for books like Gavin in the Christian market."

Ivy Ulrich-Bonk, principal of Epworth Christian School, Laurel, recently approved the book’s inclusion in their eighth grade language arts curriculum. They plan to incorporate it this fall.

Melanie Theofiles, Epworth’s middle school Integrated Language Arts Instructor, says she is thrilled to be using Gavin Goodfellow as her students’ read-aloud novel.

"Each student will experience the opportunity to respond orally and in writing to such literary elements as characterization, plot development, and sensory detail," Theofiles says. "In addition, as part of the Servant Leadership Academy, it is our goal to equip students with strategies and tools for defending their faith. Gavin will challenge students to seek God as they explore biblical truths. As Gavin outfits himself with God’s armor, he will demonstrate for them how cool it is to be a warrior in the Lord’s mighty army!"

More than 400 copies of Gavin Goodfellow: The Lure of Burnt Swamp are in circulation since its delivery on May 1, 2007.

"We’re elated by the response from the educational community," Abbott says, "and are gearing up for a second print run in the fall to keep ahead of demand."

This is Abbott’s second full-length book and first young adult novel. She has been published in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies and was recognized as Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer of the Year in 2003. Abbott co-founded Delmarva Christian Writers’ Fellowship; she and her husband Drew own Fruitbearer Publishing which has produced books for local authors Johnnie Janosik, Bishop Catherine Camper, Tom & Laura Lagana, Yvonne Alexander, and more.

Gavin Goodfellow: The Lure of Burnt Swamp is available through local bookstores and online.