Authors Showcase: Burlwood Forest by John Choquette


The Book: Burlwood Forest

The Author: John Choquette

The Story: No one came to eleven-year-old Michael Pumpernickel’s birthday party, not even his invisible friend. The clown was a no-show, and his brother’s dog tried to escape and got caught in the act.

Maybe it’s because he’s awkward and carries a fanny pack. Or maybe it’s because he really likes school. But nothing was going right in Michael’s life, until one day, everything did. After receiving a mysterious letter, he finds himself in the middle of an unlikely adventure, the center of an age old prophecy about an enchanted magical forest and a power-hungry fox obsessed with revenge. Awesome, right?

Now people will have to notice him! But being a hero isn’t everything he thought it would be. Sure, he’d do almost anything to win the affection of his piano teacher, but if it means missing dessert more than two days in a row he’s not sure he can make it.

He might not have that long. The launch of the evil fox’s line of trendy necklaces is only days away and he has to figure out the mysteries of an ancient book and identify a double agent before he’s caught. Apparently, adventures aren’t as easy as they look.

At least he gets to wear his favorite shirt. That should help…

About John Choquette:

John Choquette
John Choquette

John Choquette is the author of Burlwood Forest and owner of Pumpernickel Art. He received a B.A. in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his work has appeared in numerous online and print publications.

He lives in North Carolina with his amazing wife. Visit him online at, or on Twitter- @burlwoodforest.

From John Choquette:

Okay, I may be biased, but I am truly proud of this book! If you’re looking for an unconventional experience with memorable characters and off-beat humor, then Burlwood Forest is for you. When I set out to write it four years ago, I had a detailed plan of where I wanted to go.

That’s absolutely not where I ended up! Not only did the characters become more alive than I had ever imagined, but they took complete control of the story and ran in the opposite direction! I think that’s what makes Burlwood Forest so unique, and so different from anything else that’s out there right now.

There are a lot of books that will surprise you, but I’ve never read a story that is SO unexpected. Not just in its plot, but in the way it is presented.

The journey is not over yet for Michael Pumpernickel, but I appreciate every single person who has joined me on this amazing first chapter of my writing career. If you’re just thinking about picking it up, thank you for your consideration. I promise you won’t regret it!

Review by Rebecca Bartuska:

Michael Pumpernickel is not one of the cool kids. In fact, his own mom doesn’t even make him breakfast on his first day of sixth grade! (as the narrator of Burlwood Forest would say, NOT cool…) All Michael cares about is dessert and school until the day he enters Burlwood Forest, where everyone (including the animals) knows his name and is counting on him to defeat Lord Piper!

I loved the easy-to-read format that this story was written in. The narrator interacts with the reader in a way that I have never seen before in a book. As I was reading, I was transported into the story as if I was sitting across from a talking animal! Ok, maybe not, but pretty close! In any case, the author engaged his audience in an incredible way. The writing style was by far my favorite aspect of this story.

Burlwood Forest is a fun, easy read for kids of all ages. What comes to mind is Narnia meets A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is imaginative, wacky, and altogether enjoyable. It ends in a complete cliffhanger, so readers will need to stay tuned to see what Michael does next!

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