Nicholas Maes is a high school history teacher and teaches classics at the University of Waterloo. His previous novels for young people are Crescent Star, Locksmith, and Transmigration. Maes' first Felix Taylor Adventure was Laughing Wolf, which was nominated for the Snow Willow Award. He lives in Toronto.
Short-listed for the 2010 Saskatchewan Young Readerâ€™s Choice Award - Snow Willow and for the 2010 Manitoba Young Readerâ€™s Choice Award
It is the year 2213. Fifteen-year-old Felix Taylor is the last person on Earth who can speak and read Latin. In a world where technology has defeated war, crime, poverty, and famine, and time travel exists as a distinct possibility, Felixâ€™s language skills and knowledge seem out of place and irrelevant.
But are they?
A mysterious plague has broken out. Scientists canâ€™t stop its advance, and humanity is suddenly poised on the brink of eradication. The only possible cure is Lupus Ridens, or Laughing Wolf, a flower once common in ancient Rome but extinct for more than 2,000 years.
Felix must project back to Roman times circa 71 B.C. and retrieve the flower. But can he navigate through the dangers and challenges of the world of Spartacus, Pompey, and Cicero? And will he find the Laughing Wolf in time to save his family and everyone else from the Plague of Plagues?
Nicholas Maes is apparently one of those rare few who can pull off the time-travel trick. His new novel for young readers Laughing Wolf, is a strikingly original, with a convincing command of both future world-building and historical recreation ... Laughing Wolf is a page-turner rooted in careful history, vivid imaginings, and strongly formed characters. It raises many discussion-worthy questions on the nature of history and liberty, on emotion versus intellect, and on the role of the state and of the individual. It's an impressive work that , though intended for kids, can be enjoyed by readers of just about any age.
a lovely read .., an enticing and enjoyable book for younger readers.
... a popular read for most middle school and junior high school students.
Maes is at his best when describing Roman culture, and Felix's interactions with these great historical figures are fun.
What Maes does extremely well is to challenge his readers to consider the roles that history and religion play in our lives, and to understand how vital emotion and memory actually is. Whether youâ€™re a history buff or a sci-fi fan, these novels are entertaining and thought-provoking, and well-worth offering to tween readers.