Author J. Scott Fuqua to Debut Children’s Book Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore at Baltimore’s Power Plant Barnes & Noble

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On Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m., local author and illustrator J. Scott Fuqua will debut his new children’s book, Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore, at Baltimore, MD’s Power Plant Barnes & Noble. The first book of the Flying Through History series, Calvert the Raven explores the War of 1812 battle that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Calvert the Raven explores the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.

J. Scott Fuqua will sign copies of Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore at the Power Plant Barnes & Noble this Saturday.

Saturday's event at Barnes & Noble is the first for a book that has earned stellar early praise.

This Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m., Baltimore, MD’s Power Plant Barnes & Noble will host local author and illustrator J. Scott Fuqua as he signs copies of his brand new children’s book, Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore.

“Calvert the Raven was an attempt to strip away the dusty, formal feel of history,” says Fuqua, also an instructor at Maryland Institute College of Art. “I wanted to make it immediate.”

In Fuqua’s beautifully illustrated story, a Baltimore boy named Daniel has just received a poor grade on an awful history paper, but he doesn’t really care. History is boring anyway. But that changes when a magical wise-cracking raven named Calvert takes Daniel back in time to the Battle of Baltimore.

The Battle of Baltimore, most remembered for the bombardment of Fort McHenry, began September 12, 1814, and became the defining conflict of the War of 1812. The battle inspired the eventual United States national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“When the British invaders turned their attentions to Baltimore, the city was ready,” says Burt Kummerow, president of Historyworks, Inc. and the Maryland Historical Society. Kummerow has been involved with the book from the beginning. “It was a moment of triumph that propelled a fragile young republic into the future.”

“Daniel is surprised by the very real fear and tension experienced by people so much like him,” says Fuqua. “Calvert is willing to risk his own skin to provide Daniel with a new and different understanding of the past.”

Saturday’s event at Barnes & Noble is the first for a book that has earned stellar early praise. Booklist said it “will find a place on library shelves,” adding that “the breezy tone and plenty of dialogue will draw in readers, and the dramatic, well-executed watercolors add impact to the telling.”

And library service Brodart called Calvert the Raven “an interesting book that makes it easy to teach kids about the War of 1812,” concluding that libraries should “add this great title to your collection for patrons age seven to ten.”

This is not Fuqua’s first book for young readers. Other such works include Catie and Josephine, The Adventures of MT Pitt, and The Synagogue Speaks. He’s received acclaim for books like graphic novel In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe and young adult novel The Reappearance of Sam Webber, which won the coveted Alex Award.

Fuqua is eager to greet parents, children, and any other readers this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Power Plant Barnes & Noble, located at 601 East Pratt Street in Baltimore—just a short Water Taxi ride away from Fort McHenry itself.

He's also available for interviews.

Baltimore-based Bancroft Press, publisher of Calvert the Raven in The Battle of Baltimore, has been a leading independent general interest publisher for the past 20 years.

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