New kids’ adventure novel is based on New Hampshire’s White Mountains

Published: 07-02-2024 3:47 PM

Kirkus Reviews’ praise for a New Hampshire writer’s new novel, “Journey to Layamon,” suggests it may be the perfect summer read for nine to twelve year olds. Inspired by many outdoor activities with his own children, author Stephen Curtin has created an enchanted land based on the White Mountains that’s filled with adventure, discovery, and an array of magical characters.

“The book is a bit like going to camp,” he says, “but it’s a camp where magic – friendly or threatening – awaits you at every turn.”

The story begins with curious eleven-year-old Hanna setting off for the mysterious land of Layamon on the first day of summer. Joined by a new boy in her village, the daring and reckless Nono, she soon learns they have a knack for finding danger and inspiration along the way. Arriving in Layamon, they encounter stunning natural wonders, wise animals, tricksters, and spells. It all leads to deep friendships with a magical elephant and a sometimes featherbrained fairy queen.

In the end, when the ruthless Morgalderon arrives to steal Laymon’s magic, Hanna and Nono will have to guide their new friends’ powers and wield magic themselves in a thrilling showdown for Layamon’s survival.

Kirkus Reviews recommends the book with many favorable comments: “An appealing cast populates this enjoyable, lighthearted fantasy… Watching their friendship develop, whether they’re having fun or confronting a threat, is truly rewarding… The story teems with colorful prose… The author builds tension equally well… The story concludes with a superb resolution… Layamon is a wondrous place.”

The full book review can be read at or at The author has donated the book to several schools and libraries in the state. It can also be found or ordered at any bookstore or ordered online.