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Folktellers: Excerpts from an Unknown Guidebook

By Josef Bastian

All titles lexile-leveled

Book Three: Shadows on the Silver Strings


Available on NetGalley and Edelweiss

Release date: October 25, 2022

Out of the shadows, a leader will rise . . .

It was inevitable. As more and more shadows infiltrate their world, Aaron, Wendy, Jake and Eddie learn that what was once just silhouette and smoke has become something much more terrible, tangible and horrifying. In Book II: Cave in the Rock, we saw the interdimensional portal torn open, releasing a flood of darkness upon the world. Now, our intrepid teens must find a way to close it again, before it’s too late. Their job won’t be easy either, as the Shadow People have found a way to manifest as creatures from myth and legend, wreaking havoc everywhere they go behind their new leader, Apscind. This may be the best time—or the worst—for Aaron to rise up as a full-fledged Folkteller. He’ll need a lot of help from friends and strangers to stop the spreading evil and seal the portal that should never have been open in the first place.

In Book III: Shadows on the Silver Strings, there’s music in the air, and the sound our heroes hear may be the hopeful melody of a brand new day, or a death knell tolling—a harbinger of their impending doom.

By Josef Bastian
Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic
248 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5
Format: paper, eBook
Paper, US $11.99 (CA $14.99) | eBook, US $6.99 (CA $9.99)
Publication Date: October 2022
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Trade distribution: IPG, 800-888-4741 or
ISBN (paper)  9781735305103
ISBN (eBook) 9781940368160

Book Two: Cave in the Rock


Also available on NetGalley and Edelweiss

Some things should never be opened . . . ever.

You have been warned. In Book I: Phases of the Moon, we discovered that Folktellers are travelers of time and space, sharing the stories people need to hear. Much has been revealed since Aaron, Wendy and Jake first uncovered Pap’s secret and learned the importance of the phases of the moon.

But their adventures are far from over. In Book II: Cave in the Rock, Aaron continues to learn what it means to be a Folkteller, while Wendy makes new friends and discovers that stories can be just as powerful and dangerous in her own dimension. Elsewhere in the Folktellers Universe, an ancient evil continues to fester, as more phantoms try to claw their way out of the Shadow Realm in pursuit of the mysterious Guidebooks.

In a tale where three worlds collide, Aaron, Wendy, Jake and Eddie Little Bear must come to grips with the fact that their troubles are growing, their lives are intertwined, and an even greater horror waits for them—just inside the Cave in the Rock.

By Josef Bastian
Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic
248 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5
Format: paper, eBook
Paper, US $11.99 (CA $15.99)
Publication Date: March 2022
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Trade distribution: IPG, 800-888-4741 or
ISBN (paper) 9781735305127

Book One: Phases of the Moon


Also available on NetGalley and Edelweiss

Teacher guide available upon request

“. . . a polished, thoroughly engaging fantasy for tweens and young adults.”
Foreword Reviews

Welcome to the Folktellers Universe . . . There’s a story in the story, like a wheel within the wheel, spiraling forever, through the world we see and feel. There’s a tale within the fable, like a gear within the gear, marking time forever, until the secret is revealed.

In every age, across time and space, there have been Folktellers. These are the select few who have been chosen to collect and share the stories that must be told. Aaron is an average midwestern teen—or so he thinks. When his grandfather disappears under strange circumstances, Aaron’s ordinary existence changes forever. He will soon discover a mysterious world where stories are powerful and dangerous, and dark, deadly enemies lurk just out of sight. Accompanied by his friend Jake and an odd girl from another dimension, Aaron must save his grandfather from the gathering darkness, and the shadowy creatures that thrive within.

In time, Aaron will learn that whoever holds the story wields the power, and that the choices he makes will change the destiny of the entire universe.

As seen at Motor City Comic Con!

By Josef Bastian
Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic
248 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5
Format: paper, eBook
Paper, US $11.99 (CA $15.99)
Publication Date: December 2021
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Trade distribution: IPG, 800-888-4741 or
ISBN (paper) 9781940368054


Book Four: The Great American Fairy Hoax

Release date: October 2023

Do not meddle in the affairs of the imaginary . . .

This is a great piece of advice that Aaron, Wendy, Jake and Eddie would do well to follow. Of course, they seldom listen to the sound, safe counsel that might keep them out of harm’s way.

In Book III: Shadows on the Silver Strings, we learned a lot more about the responsibilities of Folktellers, as well as the importance of Travelers and Guardians in helping these interdimensional storytellers along their chosen path.

But with Pap gone and the Shadow Lord Apscind growing in power, the four teens are soon stuck in a town that looks strangely familiar, yet completely different. There, they will run into two teenagers, Fay and Iris, who have concocted a hoax so incredible that even the Good Folk are stunned.

In Book IV: The Great American Fairy Hoax, our heroes learn there is magic all around them and when you tamper with the balance between the ordinary and the enchanted, you best be prepared for what comes next.

Book Five: The Child That Never Was

Release date: October 2024

Find the Master Guidebook, missing for a thousand years . . .

Our teens are becoming formidable foes of darkness, perhaps too much for their own good.

In Book IV: The Great American Fairy Hoax, we learned of the Master Guidebook, a lost tome that once held every story ever told. Now, the teens must find it in order to drain some of the evil that’s been building up in Aaron’s own Guidebook.

On an Australian mission to help a distressed Museum Director from the creatures of myth and legend, Wendy, Aaron, Jake and Eddie uncover more and more about the mysteries of the Folktellers, the Travelers and the Guardians. But Apscind, the Lord of Shadows, is learning right along with them.

In Book V: The Child that Never Was, our intrepid teens travel Down Under to discover an evil unseen, a shadow world growing and the child who holds the key to the illusive book they seek. The only question that remains is whether they will live long enough to find it.

Book Six: A Clockwork Thief

Release date: October 2025

Some maps only unfold once the journey has begun . . .

Cartography requires the combined skills of both leading and following. This is an important lesson our undaunted teenagers must learn as their search for the Master Guidebook deepens.

In Book V: The Child that Never Was, Wendy, Jake and Eddie discovered their own special powers and purpose on their collective journey with Aaron.

Now, the Storied Trio, Eddie Little Bear and other new friends must travel across Europe and the Far East, confronting Apscind and his mythical minions at every turn. In time, they will uncover the mystery surrounding a mechanical map and the cartographer who’s hidden it away from those with ill intent.

In Book VI: A Clockwork Thief, time is of the essence as our wayfarers must unravel the riddles between the clocks, gateways and shadows that stand in the way of saving the entire universe. Darkness approaches, the stakes are high and the race is on to find the one book that never should have never existed in the first place.

Book Seven: The Matryoskha Doll

Release date: October 2026

Sometimes, despite all our fears, we must risk everything . . .

It’s been said that in the Folktellers Universe, whoever holds the story wields the power. No one knows that better than our teenaged heroes and the dark lord who seeks to destroy them.

In Book VI: A Clockwork Thief, the strange fate of the Master Guidebook is revealed, driving our adventurers to reassemble the Mechanical Map that will lead them to the ultimate, universal tome.

To do so, they will need to crisscross the globe and follow the mysterious clues that surround a series of astronomical clocks. Of course, Apscind and his monstrous legions will be there, ready to crush them, steal the book, and seize control of their world.

In Book VII: The Matryoshka Doll, the series comes to a shocking conclusion, one that will leave you breathless, surprised and stunned. For in the end, Aaron and his friends learn that all stories are intertwined, and when one tale ends, another one is sure to begin.