Monday, August 18, 2014

Read, You Must: Star Wars Rebels Ezra's Gamble

Before the television premiere of Star Wars Rebels this fall, read Star Wars Rebels Ezra's Gamble, a prelude story (or prequel) to the show focusing on the youngest new hero of the Star Wars universe, 14 year-old Ezra Bridger. Set between Episodes III and IV this story sets up Ezra before he meets the rest of the Rebels.

This 154 page adventure novel for confident young readers begins with Ezra living on the streets of Lothal, swiping and swindling things from wealthy visitors who have arrived to see the illegal gladiator fights. Without parents he is on his own to steal or sell the things he nabs to take care of himself in the Imperial-controlled city. This lifestyle leads him to encounter many shady characters including the vicious bounty hunter Bossk. Star Wars: The Clone Wars fans will remember Bossk from several episodes. Bossk has been around much longer than that though: he’s standing by Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader infamously says “No disintegrations”.

Bossk and his happy pals in The Empire Strikes Back
Ezra and Bossk form a dangerous partnership when a corrupt Imperial double-crosses Bossk. The title Ezra’s Gamble refers to his choice between trusting the cutthroat bounty hunter to pay him for his trouble or to walk away from the danger, and the possible reward. Does it pay off? You’ll have to read it to find out!

Ryder Windham has written many wonderful Star Wars books for young readers and it’s no surprise he was one of the first authors asked to work with Rebels' characters. His stories are exciting, quick-paced and never feel like they’ve been made “kid-friendly”. The characters have complications and conflict, their actions have consequences, and solutions rarely come without a cost. Windham’s books aren’t some kiddie version of Star Wars - they’re just good Star Wars with an awareness of younger readers interests and vocabularies.

So get to know Ezra Bridger in this fun, character-driven adventure from Lucasfilm Press/Disney Books. Ezra’s Gamble is a very safe bet. (Recommended ages 8-12)

- Chris @SWKidscast

Did you know? Gladiator fights aren’t new to Star Wars...

Scene from the original Clone Wars cartoon (2003)

Han must face Chewbacca back in this 1979 issue!

Here's a few other Star Wars Kidscast recommendations from author Ryder Windham:

Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader

Star Wars, Episode IV - A New Hope (Junior Novelization)

Fire Ring Race (Star Wars: Adventures in Hyperspace)

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