Browse Our Library

Below is an alphabetical listing by genre of all of the 1st Ride Publications to date, or click on the links below to go straight to that genre:

Children’s Books

Creative Non-Fiction 

Dramatic Fiction

Horror / Thriller

Science Fiction / Fantasy

 1stRideLogo-Kids Children’s Books



Written by Leona Upton Illig, Illustrated by Makenzie Rustin

Creative Team: Melinda Elingburg, Matt Galeone, Makenzie Rustin, Beth Williams

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A revolution is underway and a way of life is disappearing. Growing up on a small tobacco farm in Maryland in the 1960s, a boy faces dramatic changes in his family and in the world around him. In the midst of this turmoil, a dog named Thumper barges into his life: an animal with the face of a hound, the legs of a dachshund, and a tail that can’t stop wagging. Life will never be the same.

Inspired by the author’s experiences, and the unique stories of fox hunters and farmers in Maryland, this piece of Americana is for readers of all ages, from 9 to 90.

The Elephant and the Bird Feeder: Adventure in Thailand

Written by Leona Upton Illig
, Illustrated by Elena Bisig

Creative Team: Melinda Elingburg, Matt Galeone, Makenzie Rustin, Beth Williams

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Should I trust my en­emy? Befriend a stranger? Believe the impossible? Three youngsters living in the Thai countryside—an elephant, a parrot, and a boy—must find the answers to these questions. Their choices could determine their survival.

Young readers will eagerly follow the adventures of this unlikely trio as they journey through the back country in search of a home for an orphaned elephant. A modern-day fable about the values of cooperation, compassion, and respect for nature, this story will capture hearts and inspire young minds.


Helping Hooves & Humongous Hearts

Happy Tales of Therapy Animals

Helping_Hooves_&_Hum_Cover_for_KindleWritten by Beth Williams, Illustrated by Elena Bisig

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Katie Leary, Lauren Lowther, John Orrand

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Animals are incredible! They comfort us when we are upset, make us laugh when we are sad, and cuddle with us when we are sick. Some animals even have special jobs helping people!

Come explore the tales of Fred the horse, Bernie the dog, and Princess the cat as these heroic animals perform their special jobs to help people get stronger, be safer, and feel happier.

Who are the animal heroes in your life?

Helping Hooves and Humongous Hearts: Happy Tales of Therapy Animals is a wonderful story for children and their families that teaches us about companion animals and introduces them to important diversity concepts.



Written by Kelly Henry
Illustrated by Nicole Rok 

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Amy Much, Makenzie Rustin, Beth Williams

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Dinosaurs may not have roamed the earth for millions of years, but four-year-old Anthony has a secret. He is the guardian of the last known dinosaur egg to ever exist!  That’s a big responsibility, so when the special egg goes missing, Anthony is determined to do whatever it takes to save it.  With the help of his mother, Anthony embarks on a series of fantastic adventures to find the precious egg, but what they learn about themselves in the process becomes the biggest discovery of all.


Oberst & Valentine Find Their Human

Oberst__Valentine_F_Cover_for_KindleWritten by Matt Galeone
Illustrated by Bethany Farrell 

Creative Team: Katie Leary, AB Leasure, Beth Williams

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Oberst and Valentine are looking for a home and a lap to call their own,
Matt the human wants a happy house full of furry friends, not to live all alone.
When Matt meets all of the rescue kittens, Valentine and Oberst hatch a plan,
Here’s the story of how Oberst and Valentine finally found their human!

Oberst and Valentine Find Their Human is a delightful children’s book based on the true story of how real-life rescue-cats Oberst and Valentine chose, or found, Baltimore-based author Matt Galeone and how together they created a family.

Oberst, Valentine, and Matt’s funny and heartwarming tale comes to life through illustrator, and Matt’s childhood friend, Bethany Farrell’s beautiful artwork.

Enjoy Oberst and Valentine’s story and welcome them into your family today!


A Very Oberst & Valentine Christmas

a_very_oberst__vale_cover_for_kindleWritten by Matt Galeone
Illustrated by Bethany Farrell 

Creative Team: Katie Leary, AB Leasure, Beth Williams

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What is that white stuff falling from the sky out there?
Why are there bows and ornaments and strange new smells everywhere?
What a funny time of year for two little kittens wondering, what’s all the fuss? 
Let’s find out and enjoy A Very Oberst and Valentine Christmas!

The loveable furry duo Oberst and Valentine are back and about to experience all of the magic and mayhem of the holiday season! Join the fun-loving pair as they, along with their human Matt, play in the snow, get tangled in lights, and explore the true meaning of the season. Will Oberst find the right gift for Valentine? Will Valentine ever stop attacking the Christmas tree?!? 

Come share the season with Oberst and Valentine as they learn that the best part of the holidays is sharing them with the people (and furry friends) that you love!
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy this sweet, silly, funny, and touching holiday story about love and family. Here’s wishing you A Very Oberst and Valentine Christmas!

Sparky & Squeaker

Sparky_&_Squeaker_Cover_for_KindleWritten by Jen Katz
Co-Illustrated by Jen Katz and Tracie Schmidt

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Katherine Gray, Beth Williams

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Squeaker is a bird and Sparky is his best friend…so Sparky decides that must mean HE is a bird too! Travel with Sparky as he clumsily tries to follow Squeaker’s lead in his attempt to do bird-like things. Children of all ages will enjoy Sparky’s goofy antics in his determination to be a bird, but will walk away with a better understanding of the importance of being yourself and an appreciation that the differences between people are part of what makes each individual special.


The Special Beat of Ordinary Feet

The_Special_Beat_of__Cover_for_KindleWritten and Illustrated by Patricia Perrin

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Katherine Gray, Jen Katz, Billie-Jo Kearns, Tracie Schmidt, Beth Williams

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What do you do with a puzzling question that you don’t have the answer to? When Duck decides to ask squirrel his very puzzling question they end up going on quite an adventure! Duck, Squirrel, and Rabbit team up to ask the Old Wise Man their puzzling question, and meet many new friends and visit far-away places on their quest. By working as a team to overcome various trials, they soon discover how special each of them really is!


Willoughby’s Itchy Twitchy Whiskers

Willoughby_CoverWritten and Illustrated by Patricia Perrin

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Billie-Jo Kearns, Lauren Lowther, John Orrand, Beth Williams

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Willoughby Q. is not an ordinary dog. What makes him extraordinary are his remarkable whiskers. Sometimes they tell him to do good things, and sometimes they tell him to do bad things. He has to choose which ones to listen to.
Will he choose to listen to his itchy whiskers, and get into mischief? Or will he choose to listen to his twitchy whiskers and stay out of trouble?



Creative Non-Fiction 

Getting Home: For Some Dogs, It Just Isn’t Easy


Written by Kim Manuelides

Creative Team: Matt Galeone,  Jen Katz, Lauren Lowther,  Makenzie Rustin, Beth Williams

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Imagine being young and vulnerable and removed from everything and everyone you know. Imagine trying to cope in a brand new place, surrounded by strangers who have unknown rules and expectations. Now imagine you are a young dog in that situation.

This is the reality of so many rescued animals. Particularly for dogs with a difficult past, it is not as simple as walking away and transforming into a perfect, trusting, obedient companion. Thrust into the unknown the dog may not feel instant gratitude for the improvement in their situation. A dog’s love may be unconditional, but a dog’s respect and trust are not. And to adopt a dog with the mistaken belief that the dog will immediately recover from whatever past ordeal the dog has been through and bond with the adoptive family sets both the dog and the family up for heartbreak and potential failure.

Written from the dogs’ point of view, this book explores the struggle of three very different dogs who each had to make their own transition and evolve from their pasts. It examines the concept of home and what home might mean to the dog if they could tell us directly what they think and feel. And, finally, it lays bare the pain, struggle and ultimate triumph of the humans as their dogs transform from being “special needs” dogs to family dogs.


Into the Heat
12107223_930911003630442_7398269976825613931_nWritten by Ray Lockett

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Katherine Gray, Amy Beth Leasure, Beth Williams

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A gripping and intriguing glimpse into the life of a career firefighter. Pull on your turn-out boots and join 29-year veteran, Ray Lockett, as he recalls his most memorable experiences working in some of the busiest firehouses in Baltimore City spanning the last three decades of the 20th century.

Have you ever wondered what firefighters think and experience as they crawl down a smoke-filled hallway or scale a 35-foot ladder to the roof of a burning building? In this memoir, you will experience the heartbreak of unsuccessful rescues along with the elation of bringing civilians back from the brink of death. Vividly written, this book brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of working in the most turbulent neighborhoods in Baltimore, and will help the reader better appreciate the challenges that confront firefighters every day at work. And, you will feel the pride as the book progresses and Ray’s two sons become third generation firefighters.

Into The Heat features not only the dramatic moments of fighting fires and saving lives, but also gives the reader a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the firehouse antics and range of personalities that coexist there. The bravery of these heroes will inspire, inform and awe readers who thought they knew what a firefighter’s job is.


1stRideLogo Dramatic Fiction


 An Image of Us

Written by Robert G. Edwards

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Pam Huenke, Jen Katz, Billie-Jo Kearns, Tracie Schmidt, Beth Williams

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“He had been rooted at the threshold for far too long…a visitor wanting to belong. A journeyman peering out into the wild frontier, consumed by the passion of want. Life at its essence was malleable, as it should be, and he had not properly embraced it. He had merely observed its warm shadow falling across his face from time to time, never before possessing either the conviction or the passion to bottle it.”

And so begins the story of Sam Fenton—a man who, in his youth, fell completely in love with Kathryn Ackart, and she with him. Their future together was certain and imminently bright. But Sam, confronted by a perilous choice, made the decision to leave his hometown of Meylor, North Carolina and his life with Kathryn behind. A sacrifice that would leave him lost along his chosen path, and Kathryn haunted by the specter of what should have been. Years later, the unanticipated arrival of an ordinary blue envelope offers Sam a fragile hope of redemption. It will lead him back to Meylor, and a confrontation with new choices, old ghosts, and ultimately, Kathryn. But some wounds aren’t easily healed, and some hearts never mend. Familiar faces turn strange and past relationships will be tested. What ensues is an unforgettable journey through the fires of regret and heartache. And an exploration of the shadows of the past, of the self, and the distant possibility of a love once thought beyond resurrection.

An Image of Us is a tenderly written, emotionally charged love story, which challenges the reader to question just how far would you travel, how much would you sacrifice for a chance at redemption. It is a compelling novel that will undoubtedly linger with readers long after the final page has been turned.


Chasing the Surface

Chasing_the_Surface_CoverWritten by Robert G. Edwards

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Jen Katz, Amy Beth Leasure, Katie Leary, John Orrand, Beth Williams

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Six years ago, Sam Fenton had the world at his feet after reconnecting with his childhood love, a dream he once thought beyond his grasp. But in the shadow of her unexpected death, Sam learned the agonizing lesson that life plays by its own set of rules. Now, years later, despite his lingering grief, Sam wants to love again; if only he can find the resolve to do so.

Now a travel writer, Sam is assigned to an excursion to a private island in the Caribbean where he discovers that life has yet another lesson to teach when he is literally thrown together with Tara Lindsey, the beautiful but aloof Activities Coordinator who has a guarded past of her own.

Contentious at first, their encounter will ultimately plunge them into a romance far deeper and more complex than either could have anticipated. Trust is in short supply. Faith is questioned and old, painful fears come to light. Fears that must be conquered if there is to be any hope of embracing the future they both desperately crave. Can Tara overcome her own personal tragedy in time to realize the hope that Sam represents? And can Sam understand once and for all that sometimes moving on doesn’t mean having to let go?

Chasing the Surface is the heart-wrenching sequel to the much beloved An Image of Us. It is the continuation of a journey that takes a fervent and poignant look at what it means to love beyond the boundaries of mortality, and at the strength demanded to trust one another… and ourselves.


Written by Jenine Zimmers

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Lauren Lowther, Beth Williams

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Margaret Fryburger. Margaret Linebacker. Faggaret Lardburger. Fatty. Almost no one calls Margaret Steinberger by her real name. Now a 323-pound high school senior, she’s used to humiliation, whether it’s squeezing into Spandex for a Biggest Loser audition video, or hiding in a bathroom stall to eat Oreo cookies.

Underneath the fat is a girl with a sense of humor who dreams of singing somewhere grander than her parents’ basement. One who wants to stop binge eating nachos at night. One determined to find her first real friend. A friend would make it easier to face the bullies she’s had since elementary school. Sometimes it’s humiliating: they’ve followed her down the hall making fart noises. Sometimes it’s far worse: they once forced chocolates into her mouth until she puked.

This year she takes control of her life. She finds an ally in Mr. Hansen, a first-year theater teacher who shares her love of show tunes, and Casey, a born performer who could be (fingers crossed) the friend she’s always wanted. But as Margaret’s confidence builds, her bullies take their torment to painful new heights, breaking Margaret in a way she hadn’t known they could. The incident rocks her and those around her, leaving them to wonder if the damage of a bully can ever really be fixed, and if revenge can sometimes be morally right.

FATTY is a story about the inner demons that we (bullies included) battle as we attempt to fit in, not only with others, but with ourselves.


Purple Meadow

Written by Robert G. Edwards

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Katherine Gray, Jen Katz, Billie-Jo Kearns, Tracie Schmidt, Beth Williams

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Pro tennis player, Ann Salenger has come to the coastal town of Rockport, Maine for three weeks of solitude, relaxation, and recuperation. After rehabbing her second knee injury, Ann has only one thing on her mind: winning. She must place high in the next tournament if she is to salvage what was once a promising career. Like Ann, Rockport native, Tristan Davis is in the midst of his own private conflict: his days are spent battling his own personal demons while searching for ways to keep his family’s aging seaside retreat from going bankrupt.

When the two cross paths early in her vacation, their mutual attraction is as powerful as it is unexpected, but complications arise when Ann’s vacation draws to a close. Prior dreams are soon questioned and old priorities bend to the pressures of new ones as the two lovers struggle to merge their different worlds into one. It is a complex puzzle that Ann and Tristan must solve; their attempt to piece it together will span several continents and two oceans, and will threaten the very fabric of what brought them together to begin with. Is love always enough? Or will life get in the way?

Purple Meadow is a sensitively written, dramatic, and often times humorous love story, which explores the complications that stem from the attraction of two people from fundamentally different backgrounds. It investigates the emotional complexities of taking chances, the consequences that are sure to follow, and the courage demanded when following the most important thing in life: the heart.


1stRideLogo Horror / Thriller 

Withered Hosts

Withered_Hosts_CoverWritten by Scott Bisig

Creative Team: Matt Galeone, Katie Leary, Amy Beth Leasure, John Orrand, Beth Williams

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Brian and Alison Graham are already haunted when they move into their new apartment, and are almost ghosts themselves: cursed by the loss of a child, inhabiting a vacant marriage, doomed to cope in separate and destructive ways.

Almost immediately, three-year-old Emma begins losing sleep. Brian begins losing memories. Soon, there are dangers everywhere – figures in the shadows, ominous warnings from the apartment downstairs; the building itself, even the people in it, may not be what they seem. As Brian struggles to keep his sanity, his marriage, and to save his remaining child, he will come to realize that their pasts are not past at all.

The Grahams have no idea what it means to be really haunted – but they will. And, over twenty-three long days, it will take every last bit of their willpower – and the courage to face the truth – if there is any hope for their survival.


1stRideLogo Science Fiction / Fantasy

Death and the Underhouse: The Dream Walker Series Book 1

Written by Christina Caniyo

Creative Team: Lauren Lowther, Makenzie Rustin, Matt Galeone,  Beth Williams
Cover Design by: Maddy Willwerth

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“I want to show you my world, but we have to walk through the Eye to get there.”

A slightly strange but carefree child, Kira joyfully spends her time playing with her dolls and dead things in the cellar of her grandparent’s house called the underhouse. There, she discovers a mystical boy named Angras who tells her he traveled from a far away world through a pair of colossal stone eyelids that appeared in the underhouse during her birth. Although Kira is frightened of their eerie presence and the strange pulsation that comes from them, she returns day after day to be with her best friend.

At her Grandfather’s sudden and tragic death, Kira’s mysterious father blocks the Eyes, ending her secret friendship with Angras. As the years pass, Kira remains haunted by her dreams of the Eyes and the unusual boy that her family insists was just a fantasy. As a young woman, lost in her own life and largely estranged from her father, she returns to the small bustling town in Vermont where she grew up to live with her beloved grandmother, who helps her begin to heal with chocolate and a magical ancestry.

However, being home makes her dreams worse until one day, lured by music, Kira finally returns to the underhouse, where she enters the Eyes; stumbling into a sumptuous world filled with exotic creatures, strange horrors, and her long lost Angras, But he is no longer the bubbling bright child she remembers, as a gruesome shadow spreads itself over his world. With a heavy heart, Kira quickly becomes entangled in a battle with dark forces, her feelings for Angras and the dark discovery of who her father really is.


Seeds of Eden: The Concilium Series Book 1

Written by A.P. Watson

Creative Team: Melinda Elingburg, Matt Galeone, Katie Leary,  Beth Williams
Cover art and layout by: Regina Wamba
Photo:  ©Regina Wamba with MaeIDesign and Photography

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Visions of decapitated corpses, pools of blood, and a masked executioner have haunted Evey for as long as she can remember. Torn between a life in the waking world and dreams of the dead, she realizes her normal existence is nothing more than an illusion. As the veil between reality and her subconscious dissipates, she begins to question her own sanity. Each night as she closes her eyes, she wonders what wrongs she committed to warrant such a curse.

When a handsome stranger suddenly appears in Evey’s life, he is able to provide her with the answers she seeks. However, the only thing more mystifying than Conrad’s appearance in one of her nightmares is the undeniable attraction she feels for him. It is only when he confesses their fates and souls have been intertwined for centuries that an ancient secret is revealed. Now, the two of them must outrun a great darkness or it will claim their lives again.  


The Champion of Clarendon Ditch: The Complete Trilogy

Written by Matt Galeone

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Adam Darvin was a normal young man living in a suburb of Clarendon Ditch until the day he ‘hatched.’ In a fiery, trance-like state Adam’s incredible powers emerge and the life he knew is over in an instant. He soon discovers that he is not alone when he meets others like himself – Liam Clover and Kerri Ross – and develops deep friendships with both. Follow Adam, Liam and Kerri as they learn about their powers, discover secrets about their true enemies, and make new allies in begins as a fight for knowledge and survival and becomes an epic struggle to save their world.


 The Champion of Clarendon Ditch: Book 1: The Hatching

The_Hatching_Cover_for_KindleWritten by Matt Galeone

Creative Team: Pam Huenke, Jen Katz, Billie-Jo Kearns, Tracie Schmidt, Beth Williams

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Adam Darvin was a normal young man living in a suburb of Clarendon Ditch until the day he ‘hatched.’ Suddenly in a fiery trance-like state, Adam’s incredible powers emerge. The life Adam knew is over in an instant and his entire world will never be the same. Although Adam initially feels isolated by his new powers, he slowly discovers that he’s not alone. Adam meets other would-be heroes Liam Clover and Kerri Ross and develops deep friendships with both. Follow Adam, Liam, and Kerri as they learn more about their powers, discover secrets about their true enemies, and make new allies in what will begin as a fight for knowledge and survival, and soon become an epic struggle to save their world.

The Champion of Clarendon Ditch is a story about heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and above all, friendship. It combines the excitement of a super hero comic book adventure with the heart of a character-based and relationship driven novel. With both incredible battles and quieter moments between its characters, the story is as much about super-powered good fighting to overcome an all-powerful evil, as it is about the relationships, growth, love, and loss of its heroes.


The Champion of Clarendon Ditch: Book 2: The Alliance

TheAlliance_ed2_Cover_DigitalWritten by Matt Galeone

Creative Team:
Pam Huenke, Jen Katz, Billie-Jo Kearns, Tracie Schmidt, Beth Williams

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Adam Darvin and Kerri Ross have finally learned the truth about ACS, the organization attempting to destroy Adam’s and Kerri’s world. Adam is now desperate to rescue Kerri from ACS and ACS leader Javier’s clutches. With his friend Liam Clover and the ACS 5th Columnist Tony Jackson, Adam leads a rescue mission to save Kerri and Tony’s imprisoned allies. Meanwhile, Kerri is hardly content to sit and wait for a rescue. She faces off against ACS’s leader and attempts to battle her own way to freedom. Soon Adam and Kerri are reunited behind enemy lines. They find themselves not only fighting together to escape ACS, but also leading an unlikely alliance of altereds, interplanetary champions, and kids from Clarendon Ditch.

Adam, Kerri, and Liam continue to develop their powers and friendships as they come to terms with their roles in their new world and the war they now must join. The characters grow as they band together to cope with tragedy and battle a new threat that emerges from within ACS.

The Alliance continues the series themes of heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and friendship with its more serious and darker tone. The scope of the action expands and the intensity of the relationships between the characters deepens. The heroes soon learn that all they have is each other, and together, they might just be all that stands in the way of ACS taking over the world. Will they be enough?


The Champion of Clarendon Ditch: Book 3: The Journey

TheChampion_ed2_DigitalWritten by Matt Galeone

Creative Team: Pam Huenke, Jen Katz, Billie-Jo Kearns, Tracie Schmidt, Beth Williams

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Olive Anderson has conquered ACS and is close to conquering her world. All that stands in her way is a small but brave Alliance of former ACS students, 5th Columnists, and non-altered kids from Clarendon Ditch. Just as the Alliance needs to unite most, they find themselves fractured and weakened.

The 5th Columnists disperse to ignite small,disparate resistance movements in every territory. Can they effectively coordinate these movements, or will they be crushed by Olive’s armies? Liam Clover must recover from the brutal torture he endured while imprisoned by Olive. Can Liam overcome the trauma he suffered and his own self-doubt to emerge as a hero, or will he succumb to his inner demons? Kerri Ross deals with reports that ACS may have implanted a mind-control device in her that Olive could activate at any time. Will Kerri become the weapon that Olive uses to defeat the Alliance, or the hero that leads them to victory? Adam Darvin faces the reality that his powers have grown beyond what any mortal could control. Adam knows he is becoming powerful enough to destroy Olive and ACS, but he fears that as he loses control of his abilities, he may become more terrible than the enemies he fights to defeat.

Will Adam, Kerri, and Liam save their world, or become the cause of its ultimate demise?

Thrilling and heartbreaking, The Champion, Book 3 of the Champion of Clarendon Ditch series, concludes the series’ examination of heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and friendship with tremendous adventure and heart. As the heroes’ challenges intensify, they learn that if they are to succeed, it will not be due to incredible superhuman powers, but rather because of extraordinary, but very human, character.