Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
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Praise for The Green Ember
“This is the story we’ve been waiting for. When my audience wants to know our family’s favorite readaloud, I answer without hesitation: The Green Ember. My blog and podcast audience constantly thanks me for recommending it. The Green Ember has become a true cult classic for Read-Aloud Revivalers all over the world, regardless of their denomination, their children’s ages, or their parenting style. It’s the story that unites us. Our whole community eagerly awaits whatever S.D. Smith is up to next.”
Sarah Mackenzie, host of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, author of Teaching From Rest
“A captivating story with sword-bearing rabbits, daring quests, and moments of poignant beauty, The Green Ember is a tale that will delight and inspire young readers to courage and creativity and would make a perfect book for a family to read aloud.”
Sarah Clarkson, author of Read for the Heart and Caught Up in a Story
“The Green Ember is a fantastic (and fantastical) story. Smith writes a fun, captivating, moving story with all the elements a great story should have.”
Barnabas Piper, author of Help My Unbelief
“I am amazed at the steady, surging enthusiasm for The Green Ember we are seeing. I have seen first hand how the story captivated our family’s imagination and am optimistic about how well the story will do when given a chance with a wider audience.”
John Stonestreet, host of Breakpoint, President of The Colson Center, author, popular speaker
“With very humble beginnings, The Green Ember Series is on course to capture the imagination of millions. I’ve seen it in my own family and am seeing it across the country. S. D. is a gifted storyteller and has a real knack for meeting kids at eye level. I’m thrilled to support whatever S. D. Smith is creating.”
Randall Goodgame, founder: Slugs & Bugs Family Music
“Wreathed in adventure, mystery, betrayal and peril, The Green Ember is at its heart, a tale that champions selfless community, family honor and the importance of deep heritage steeped in meaningful tradition.”
Joe Sutphin, illustrator of Word of Mouse by James Patterson, The Warden And The Wolf King by Andrew Peterson, Dr. Critchlore’s School For Minions by Sheila Grau
“The reason S. D. Smith’s story has caught on and spread so quickly is that it resonates with people of faith and far beyond. The Green Ember is exactly what my audience is hungry for to share with their families. It’s an unfolding epic that has struck a nerve with a growing and eager audience. I’m amazed and excited about how big the audience will be as it picks up more and more traction.”
Sally Clarkson, bestselling author of several books, including Own Your Life and The Life-giving Home
“This is an ‘instant classic.’ That is to say, it shares the same spirit of derring-do involving small characters cast into big adventure against long odds with so many of the stories I’ve loved through the years, from Treasure Island to Watership Down. The Green Ember is about two rabbits, sister Heather and brother Picket, who find themselves caught up in the struggle at the fabric of their world and seek to right some pretty dreadful wrongs. Along the way, they wrestle with their own weaknesses and encounter dastardly deeds, danger, and double-crosses. (Thankfully, no terrifying over-use of alliteration.) It’s entertaining, thought-provoking, beautifully-written, and I’m sure will challenge its young readers to dig deep by inspiring them with both the successes and failures of its lapine protagonists.”
Glenn McCarty, author of The Misadventured Summer of Tumbleweed Thompson (coming 2017)
“For my own children, it has become the most beloved book of their childhood. They have turned our backyard into the their own movie set and play act the story. They live out the story’s exciting adventures day after day. And they are not alone. The Green Ember has captured children’s imaginations across the country.”
Lesli Richards, popular speaker and author of The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully
“I enthusiastically commend The Green Ember. This story resonates with many who long for more stories in the tradition of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and the great Christian writers who have appealed so strongly to the imaginations of people of faith and beyond.”
Ivan Mesa, editor for The Gospel Coalition
“This is a wonderful story full of adventure, friendship, betrayal, and redemption. That the characters are Rabbits only adds to the delight, and the pacing sweeps you into a worthwhile tale not to be soon forgotten. The styling, character arcs, pacing, and imagery are all artful and compelling. Beautiful scenes of home, purpose in one’s work, and loyalty are deepened by the honest depictions of exile, the consequences of treachery, bitterness, and fighting for one’s home. Not only a book of action, it’s a thought-provoking tale that glories in the good, the true, and the beautiful.”
Breezy Brookshire, illustrator for Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith
“What a grand adventure! When I first read S. D. Smith’s The Green Ember to my own children, we were instantly smitten. This is a story that we all enjoy again and again for it’s beauty, playfulness, and adventure.”
Kris Camealy, author of Come, Lord Jesus: the Weight of Waiting
“I have known S. D. Smith for many years and I’m delighted to see how his gift for storytelling is gripping a generation of kids who are desperate for stories anchored in hope. The Green Ember really is a new story with an old soul, a tale about heroic hope in a chaotic time. It’s also just the kind of story we need right now.”
Shawn Thornton, Senior Pastor, Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village, CA, and author of All But Normal
“There is a sincerity in S. D. Smith’s writing that makes the reader feel like they too could be the heroes of their own stories. Like the greats that Smith loves (Tolkien, Lewis, etc.), he tells stories worth knowing. Stories which inform the moral imagination and continue to speak to the reader long after the book has been returned to the shelf.
Sara Masarik, Plumfield and Paideia
“In the tradition of Narnia, The Green Ember tells a story that is fun, captivating, and beautiful…There were moments when the beauty of the story brought me to tears. When my girls would ask me why I was crying, I said, ‘One day you are going to reread this book when you are older, and you will see how beautiful it is.’”
Joshua Hutchens, Gospel Life
“The Green Ember: Don’t even get me started! Quite possibly my favorite book of the year, overall. This one is a real page turner. My kids beg me for “just one more chapter” every day. I get hoarse reading this book every day, but we absolutely love it. Not only is the story phenomenal, but the themes and the appreciation of the arts and God’s creation is an underlying theme that just jumps out of the page at you! All children need this book in their life. We adore this book!”
Deana Wood, Redeeming the Days
“The Green Ember may be classified as a children’s book, but its appeal is certainly universal. It’s a fantastic read for the entire family to enjoy, and Smith makes his chapter lengths perfect for bedtime reading.”
Eric Landfried, The Phantom Tollbooth
“When the Bard of Redwall passed on, it seemed there would be no more tales of valiant woodland creatures with swords and cloaks. I had been fortunate to meet him once, and mourned his passing as much as the end of the stories. Well, a new author has taken up the pen and created his own story of brave rodents battling impossible odds. A little bit darker than Redwall and with no assurance of a happy ending, this new novel–potentially a series–may appeal to adults and older readers. Very strongly recommended to lovers of fantasy and furry critters.”
Terry M, Amazon Reviewer
“Here’s the best way I can sum up The Green Ember for you: It reads as if Brian Jacques had Sam Gamgee’s famous quote from The Return of the King (‘Is everything sad going to come untrue?’) nailed above his desk while writing a version of Redwall that wasn’t awful. Far from being merely ‘not awful,’ though, Smith’s first novel shows that he truly understands the essentials of storytelling. Ember picks up and rolls, its two young protagonists landing in near-constant peril of some sort or another from the fifth chapter on. Refreshingly, Smith doesn’t defang the subject matter. Combatants die. Conflicts leave lasting scars. Internal politics roil old allies. And the book intentionally refuses to end neatly. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking Joe Abercrombie or George R.R. Martin here. The Green Ember is liberally seasoned with hope (and gorgeous pencil illustrations by Zach Franzen). But whenever the proceedings threaten to become saccharine, Smith tosses a little grit into the pot. The final pages find the characters with swords in their hands and a very long fight ahead of them. Indeed, the only real problem with the novel is its abrupt conclusion. I won’t complain when fantasy authors decide to keep things short. Goodness knows we have too many doorstop-thick titles in the genre. But The Green Ember almost begs for a sequel. Here’s to hoping that Smith pens it someday.”
Loren Eaton, I Saw Lightning Fall
“The Green Ember is a wonderful, poignant adventure tale, set in a time of great chaos, with lament of a lost kingdom and hope for a new, peaceful time. Characterized by anthropomorphic rabbits, birds, wolves and other animals, this fresh tale certainly is within the realm of popular fantasy, with this story written for the comprehension level of middle grade readers.
“But what sets this wonderful novel apart are several things. The plot is intricately developed and works very well. When I sat down and thought about it, there is almost a chiastic layout to the plot. For a first time novel, to be that well laid out, yet still not lose sight of the joy of the characters and stories is a great feat. Also, the reader understands the story from the perspectives of the two protagonists, Heather and Pickett, who are complex and young and inexperienced. In a sense, the reader is the third partner here, because nothing is revealed to the reader until it is revealed to these two.
“Also, there are some real moments of wisdom written here, that come across very softly, but effectively. Matters dealing with the nature of evil, the real price of friendship, how different roles and interests play into larger communities, how hope and sadness can often, and sometimes must exist side by side. This is a real story of truth and beauty. There are larger points to be made, but it still remains a good story. The larger points are up to the reader to extrapolate from.
“Readers should see the influence of Lewis and Tolkien, Narnia and Middle Earth, on Smith’s Natalia and his Rabbit Kingdom. Yet Smith has told an entirely original tale, that honors its forebears, but brings new light and skill to tale spinning. And like those earlier works, the reader certainly hopes that future stories will come to further expand and tell more stories, because of the truth and beauty they represent.”
Jason G., Amazon Reviewer
“I can objectively say that this book will provide a dose of literary magic and charm on the same level as the classic Narnia series. I honestly don’t think that’s overstating the quality and strength of this book. It is a rare thing in my opinion to find a children’s/young adult book that offers just as much for an adult reader as it does for the age group it’s specifically targeted for. This is one such book. I whole heartedly recommend it to any reader regardless of age, background or typical literary preference. The storytelling and world creation is not just good, it’s astounding. So astounding in fact, that if you’re not careful as you take this masterpiece of a book in, you might just find yourself regularly on the lookout for cape wearing, sword wielding rabbits everywhere you go!”
Chris Chesley, Amazon Reviewer
“Highly captivating for the whole family. Can’t wait for the sequel!”
Elizabeth K. Dondzila, Amazon Reviewer
“If you’ve ever liked a book, I think you’ll like The Green Ember.”
Jonah Goodgame, 11 years old (see his review)
“My 5-yr old son and 3- and 7-yr. old daughters are all mesmerized and plead for extra chapters when we read together. After even just the first chapter, we knew that this was going to be a rare favorite. It has proven breathlessly thrilling and so much fun, edifying… challenging for all of us. And heartrendingly tender. Beautiful. At times, profound. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Don’t miss this.”
Kristin B., Amazon Reviewer
“I read it straight through. The characters are so well-formed and atmosphere so well-described that it played in my mind like a movie.”
Richard A. Cook, Amazon Reviewer
“A great story, written well. It’s full of intrigue, adventure, action, mystery, surprise and struggle, but with a good mixture of humor and playfulness. Written for children but in a way adults will enjoy. The characters (the good guys) depict personal growth, sacrifice, humility, loyalty, trust, wisdom and dedication. The bad guys do what we expect bad guys to do. The story encourages us to visualize a future we cannot see, believe in it and work toward it. Problems are created and resolved. Readers are filled with empathy for those being wronged and disgust for those causing it. You’ll easily recognize and identify with the characters, the strong, the weak, the frustrated and the struggling.”
Ennis Pepper, South Africa
“The Green Ember was sheer delight. Escaping into this world of rabbits was a highlight of my Christmas season. I like to read a book with a pencil nearby so that I can mark especially well-written phrases and sentences. There are MANY in this book. This novel is quite creative with unexpected twists and turns. Smith’s ability to develop characters is exceptional. I KNOW THESE RABBITS!”
Betty A. Cole, Amazon Reviewer
“I read this book on my Kindle, then bought the Audible version to listen to in the car with my children, ages eight to 13. We all loved it. Great rabbit characters, lots of excitement, held everyone’s attention. We didn’t want to turn off the audio when we arrived at school each morning, and if I wasn’t firm, they would have all been late to school every day. It’s clean and not terribly violent, although there is fighting between wolves and rabbits. Great talking points when read as a family: loyalty, honesty, trust, betrayal, bravery, empathy… I would recommend to fans of books like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Guardians of Ga’Hoole, and Watership Down.
Sharon, Amazon Reviewer
*See the hundreds of 5 star reviews at Amazon.