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>> CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHORS SPIN TALES OF ADVENTURE AT JABBERWOCKY THIS WEEKEND
Venture to distant and fantastic worlds at Jabberwocky

 Author Jordan Jacobs, seen traveling through the Sahara Desert, is also an archaeologist.
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Date published: 11/29/2012

BY COLLETTE CAPRARA

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

The folks at Jabberwocky are inviting families to venture to distant and fantastic realms--in the comfort of their cozy shop--as two noted and popular authors for middle-grade readers come to town for book signings.

This Saturday, Jordan Jacobs, author of "Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies," will discuss the genesis of his book about the adventures of a daring 12-year-old girl who joins her uncle in an archaeological exploration of an ancient temple high in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Jacobs, an archaeologist by profession, works at the University of California--Berkeley and has worked for the Smithsonian, UNESCO and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. But the author's excitement about the science goes back to his early childhood, when at the age of 6, he sought out books on mummies from the library.

In his book, the first of a series, Jacobs weaves a tale of mystery and adventure about spunky Samantha's expedition, which unfolds to involve the disappearance of newly discovered artifacts and the specter of the legendary haunting figure of El Loco.

Samantha plays a key role in an exploration to solve the mysteries, given that she alone is small enough to make her way through the miles of hidden narrow tunnels that wind below the temple.

As her quest reaches a climax, Samantha encounters the challenge of her lifetime and ends up saving both her uncle and her older brother.

While engaging in this story about a fascinating, exotic world, readers will be learning much about the science of archaeology as well. Jacobs' tale is based on his own expedition to the temple of Chavín de Huántar. The artifacts that he describes are ones that have been actually recovered from the site, and his descriptions of the steps involved in an archaeological dig are true to life.

With an enthusiasm that has been contagious among his young readers, Jacobs describes the beauty of his science.


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What: Book signings with Jordan Jacobs and Adam Gidwitz Where: Jabberwocky Book Store, 810 Caroline St., Fredericksburg When: Jordan Jacobs: Saturday, Dec. 1, noon-2 p.m. Adam Gidwitz: Monday, Dec. 3, 4-6 p.m. Cost: Free Info: 540/371-5684; jabberwocky.typepad.com