Everyone should have a name.
With that thought, young Gracie Fisher steps out into her backyard on a moonlit summer night. Leaving her sleeping parents behind, following her cat Roscoe and an unnamed kitten harboring an ancient secret, she embarks on an adventure leading far beyond her father’s vegetable garden to a domed forest-city tethered to the moon. There she will face a terrible danger from the prehistoric past, a danger that threatens humanity’s future.
Chermpf is a fantasy novel for middle grade readers. It also appeals to people of all ages who suspect their cats know more about the workings of the universe than they let on, meteorologists, anyone who finds video games boring in comparison to folding time and space and people who worry about the potential menace of winged spiders.
Free vocabulary lists and exercises, critical thinking activities, and creative projects drawn from the story are available to download for parents, homeschoolers, educators and caretakers here at Border Station Press on the vocabulary and activities page.
RELEASED MARCH 1, 2015
BELLPORT, N.Y. – Author and illustrator William S. Russell III did not have to look far to generate the plot of his new middle-grade novel Chermpf. “When I was growing up, all our house cats were intimately familiar with the mathematical principles of superluminal travel (that’s faster than light, for the uninitiated),” the author said. “Writing about it came naturally to me, although I had to leave out most of the exotic stuff, like how cats configure the energy-density fields to create negative mass. That was a secret recipe in our house.”
Russell had a wealth of cat characters to draw from, and the knowledge that many readers connect personally with felines helped him along. “My biggest problem was making sure that I got all of the names spelled right. Cat pronunciation can be tricky.”
The book captures the adventures of a little girl named Grace Fisher and the Fisher family cat Roscoe as they try to unravel the mystery of why a small kitten has lost her voice and has no name. Grace and Roscoe soon get more than they bargain for when a late night visit to the garden lands them on an arboreal city tethered to the moon. While they are there, the two learn a thing or two about guardian angels, the workings of the universe, and how to not become a meal for a prehistoric monster.
As far as we know, Chermpf is only the first novel about the cats of Nova City. The sequel, Meepcha and the Lost One Hundred was released in June of 2017. Russell lives on Long Island with his wife Susan and three cats, none of whom are inclined to chip in for room and board.