6 Sept 2018

We Can(ada) Read: YOUNG WARRIORS: JACOB'S FIRE by David Jurasek // #Interview + #Giveaway

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadians for EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors! It is a highlight of Canadian Literature and those of us who promote it as much as possible.

For a full schedule of events, please check out the Kick-Off post!

Thank you to Moonbeam Books for sponsoring the amazing giveaway! Scroll to the bottom!
David Jurasek is the author of YOUNG WARRIORS. Book 1: Jacob's Fire is available now.

Connect with the Author:

Goodreads | Website

What is your favourite part about being a Canadian author?

David JurasekI would say living in Canada. That answer may seem boring and too simple. But, really, think about it. The environment and culture we live in shapes and forms us -- sometimes even more deeply and broadly than our personal dreams and efforts can. Living in Canada, as a white man and someone who came here as a child and political refugee with my parents, I feel enormously grateful for the freedoms and privileges afforded to me so that I can be a writer and express my imagination and tell the stories of people I have known and loved. 

What do you think Canadian authors can exclusively bring to the table?

David JurasekI think the answer is not anything obvious or superficial like we all set our stories in settings with beavers and lakes, etc. As a Canadian author, I think you can use stereotypes or archetypes (like hockey stories or winter snow tales, etc.) but what makes Canadian authors unique is that we are all steeped in a very unique and multicultural society and natural landscape whether we make that explicit or not. Nowhere in the world is there this unique sense of collective diversity and values like basic decency and humility quite like in Canada.

What is your favourite “Canadian tradition”?

David JurasekI’d say communing with nature. Going to the cottage, going camping, planting trees, fishing, hunting, walking in nature. And not just that but loving nature and priding ourselves on the beauty that surrounds us, and the skills and resilience we get from being close to nature. The Young Warriors novel hints at this with the ninja stories interwoven between. I love ninja culture because -- though it comes from far away in Japan -- it originates from a relationship to nature and learning to build weapons, tools and techniques from observing nature. 

How do you think your life as a Canadian overlaps with your writing? Do we see any of this in YOUNG WARRIORS - Book 1: Jacob's Ladder?

David JurasekOur story takes place in a city which is much like Toronto or Vancouver. It is diverse and rich with kids from different cultures and this also means tensions between children and cultures. The other quality which I see as canadian and which I think is imbued in the book is the sense of humility and even self-doubt. The adults are decent people trying to be good and do good, but they don’t trust themselves to know the truth (until they are forced to in Book #2). The evil that lurks is in how a student is privileged and able to charm, lie, and manipulate to get away with cruelty. Our hero starts out as fearful and not believing in himself, a kind of non hero and then through the force of friendship, family and taking personal responsibility (also Canadian values) he becomes more courageous and willing to do the right thing -- even when it costs him his reputation and freedom. 

Describe YOUNG WARRIORS - Book 1: Jacob's Ladder  in 10 words or less.

David JurasekOutsider tween faces fears to stand up to a charming and cruel bully.

What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

David JurasekA few nuggets I hope. 

  • You might feel like a coward, but there is always a way to be a little more courageous. 
  • You might feel alone with some struggles, but there is always an ally nearby… often someone in a similar position. Sometimes they are not who you would expect. 
  • Being a warrior is not about fighting or winning. It is about honesty and bravery to do right by others and to stand up to injustice. 
Parents and teachers (and therapists) who know and love kids: 

  • Remember what childhood was really like: harrowing and incredible. 
  • Bullying is not something that goes away when we ignore it or resolved when we tell on someone. It’s something that needs to be faced together bravely and honestly with all of us taking responsibility. 
  • Standing up to a threatening force means getting knocked down. Support your child to get back up again without leaving him all alone. 
  • Anxiety, shame, and learning disabilities are real and have a profound and powerful impact on kids. Don’t minimize them. Be honest and brave as you help your child to face them. 

What was your favourite scene in this novel to write?

David JurasekThere were a few. One that was fun was of Jacob running away from school and then getting into a flurry of texting with his mom as he tries to evade being caught. Another is a the opening chapter about a boy ninja whose village is assailed by a zombie horde. That scene is harrowing and gut wrenching. 

Where do you think your main characters would want to live if they lived in present day Canada?

David JurasekWe actually base our story in the present and in a city which very closely resembles downtown Toronto. That being said, I think Jacob would want to live in the forest outside of the city, with his grandmother who loves him dearly and his grandpa whose ghost is an ally and guide to him. 


Authors: David Jurasek and Jack Manchester 
Series: Young Warriors #1
PublisherIntegra Press - Earlscourt Creche Child Development Institute
Publication Date: January 24, 2018
JACOB's FIRE is the first book of the YOUNG WARRIORS trilogy. 

It's a page turning adventure about Jacob, an 11 year old who hates being singled out for being different. Eager to stay out of sight and out of trouble, his new and only friend Harold has other ideas, like standing up to Donald, the cruel and charming mastermind who seems to have everyone wrapped around his finger. 

Thrown into situations he can’t get out of, Jacob must find the courage to face not only the bully and his gang, a zombie horde and evil samurai, but also his inner demons! 

Unable to do so on his own, he starts training in the mysterious martial art of Aikido, learning the skills he needs to start becoming a Young Warrior!
This giveaway is sponsored by Moonbeam Books, an independent bookstore in Toronto, Ontario! 

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