David Malone writes for a trade magazine by day, but he has found his voice, it seems, writing fiction. His first novel, written for middle school readers, The Wordsmith, is drawing positive reviews for its whimsical setting — and the sophisticated introduction of new vocabulary words.

“I originally envisioned The Wordsmith as a 32-page picture book, but when I started writing it, it was like something clicked and I found my voice,” Malone says. “Before I knew it I was a thousand words in, and then 5,000, and it became the novel it is today.”

Author David Malone points out the dedication page to his son, Henry.

The story revolves around the kidnapping of a crochety old man in the town of Babeltown, known as the Wordsmith. The book’s main characters, 12-year old Evie and Myles von Wicker, depart on an adventure across the Great Kingdom to rescue the old coot.

“If you like to read a story with resilient, risk-taking young people, read about the adventures of the hero and heroine in The Wordsmith,” says Laura Doherty, a veteran teacher in Barrington Unit School District 220 and since 2015 at Our Lady of the Wayside School.

Malone credits his 3-year old son, Henry — whom the book is dedicated to and was also the inspiration behind one of the characters in the book, the Great Henrald — with giving him the idea to switch to writing for the middle school genre of books.

“I love writing for this age group,” Malone says, “and I am planning to stick with it in the future.”

Malone grew up in Palatine and attended Fremd High School. He says he has loved storytelling since he was a child and even thought of writing a book when he was as young as 8 years old. He got as far as thinking of its title, The Monster of Eternity, which indicated even then his interest in fantasy and science fiction.

This is his first novel after writing a story for an online science fiction magazine back in 2014, called A Helpful Stranger. Though it would be nearly 10 years before he would fulfill his dream of writing a book, Malone now says he has found his voice and already is working on the next one.

He is getting positive reviews for The Wordsmith, including from a class of fifth graders who invited him to visit virtually for a Q & A about the book and the process of writing.

“To hear directly from the age group that the book was aimed at how much they enjoyed it was a pretty special experience.” Malone says.

As a teacher and avid reader, Doherty counts herself among his fans and she hopes middle school students will check it out.

“I think it’s important for people, especially kids, to know that an actual person wrote the words to create the story,” Doherty says. “He is just a regular person walking around town.”

Interested readers can find the book at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, in its New and Popular section, as well as at these booksellers:



Please follow and like us: