Monday, November 16, 2015

Michael J. Bowler - Warrior Kids - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

The future looks bleak unless eighteen year-old Lance and his New Camelot Earth Warriors can save the planet from catastrophic climate change. 
Spurred by twelve year-olds Billy, Enya, Itzamna, and his ten-year-old brother, Chris, Lance creates a branch of Earth Warriors, a youth-led movement designed to save the earth from its greatest enemy – greed. His involvement leads to Earth Warrior crews springing up all across America. Millions of kids leap into action, paralyzing the country and alarming the rich and powerful. Having adopted his father’s philosophy of doing what’s right, rather than what’s easy, Lance makes serious enemies when he calls out New Camelot donors who represent fossil fuel or other polluting industries, and then barely escapes a series of "accidents” designed to kill him. When he challenges the United States Congress to step up and act immediately on the climate crisis, the attacks on him escalate. With the majority of America's kids on his side, Lance and his young Earth Warriors prepare for the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Paris, where they will call upon world leaders to stop talking about sustainability and start acting on it. But whoever wants him dead isn't giving up. Will Lance and his crew live long enough to even get to Paris? Warrior Kids is a standalone tale set within the Children of the Knight universe.

My Review

Iztali Canche is a young environmental activist. With his mother's help, he created Earth Warriors, a movement to get kids and teens involved in getting the public to consume less and reuse more. Passionate about the cause since the age of ten, at fifteen he's now a global celebrity, well known for speaking out on behalf of the planet.

"A leader never celebrates himself - he celebrates the accomplishments of those he leads."

And that's where Iztali gets into trouble. His presentations now consist of performing hip-hop numbers to entertain the crowd instead of educating them on the facts. His social media feed is full of shirtless photos of himself. He's lost his center, giving in to the superficiality of his fame.

"Shift people away from thinking about themselves all the time and spend more time thinking about others."

That's supposed to be the emphasis of his message, but instead he's telling kids in the audience that they're consuming too much even though he's doing the same thing. Taking a cross-Atlantic flight to attend an international conference on how to reduce one's carbon footprint, instead of simply Skyping from his home in New Mexico. At the People's Climate March in New York, he doesn't tell marchers to pick up their trash, and his lackadaisical attitude results in a significant amount of garbage being left on the city streets.

When it comes to addressing the critics of the Green Movement, Iztali arrogantly calls them "deniers." He doesn't sit down and talk with the prominent scientists who are against global warming, stubbornly refusing to learn where they're coming from. He's right, and they're wrong, simple as that.

"We are all indigenous to this earth."

Promoting himself at nature's expense, he begins to care more about what people think of him than in mobilizing kids to get out there and do something. Since Iztali is of Native American descent, his speeches become dangerously misleading when he implies that everything from increased emissions to oil fracking is the fault of the white man, even when he's well aware that China and India are two of the world's biggest polluters. Instead of bringing people together, he's driving them apart.

Until he meets up with a very special teen who's able to redirect his course—Sir Lance of Camelot. With Excalibur in hand, Lance forms a coalition with Iztali, working with him to inspire young people toward making a positive change. They address a joint session of Congress. They even speak at a United Nations summit on climate change.

Even role models need role models, and Lance saves Iztali from falling prey to his ego, getting him to remember that it's not just about him. It's about the over seven billion people who call earth home.


Warrior Kids can be purchased at:

Formats: ebook, paperback
Genre: Middle Grade
Pages: 211
Release: October 6, 2015
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9780990871149
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

Special message from the author:

THE eBOOK OF WARRIOR KIDS IS FREE FOR EDUCATORS. It is available in the following formats: PDF, Kindle (mobi), and ePub (Nook and iBooks). In addition, teachers can purchase the paperbacks at the per unit cost of $3.08 (plus shipping and applicable tax.) Educators can contact the author via the Warrior Kids Facebook Group ( or directly by email – For paperback orders, the author will generate an invoice from Createspace (the physical publisher of the book) and payment can be made through PayPal. There is no profit motive and he will earn nothing off the paperbacks sold to teachers. Per unit cost and shipping rates are exactly as Createspace charges him – no markup. As an educator, he has always sought supplemental reading material that would engage his students on important issues. Having found very little, he decided to write one and make it readily available.

About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of nine novels—A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place (Bronze Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America; Spinner (Winner Hollywood Book Festival; Honorable Mention San Francisco Book Festival; Bronze Medal from Reader’s Favorite; Literary Classics Seal of Approval), and Warrior Kids.

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook. He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you, Connie, for your thoughtful analysis of Iztali, and for hosting Warrior Kids. Much appreciated.

  2. An interesting premise & I like the title.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway! Warrior Kids sounds like something cool. :)