Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms
By: Jamar J. Perry
Cameron Battle grew up reading the Book of Chidani with his family. This book, which has been passed down through generations, has stories about a hidden world that was created to protect the Igbo people from slavery. When Cameron’s parents died a few years ago, his grandmother banned him from ever reading the Book of Chidani again. He hasn’t even looked at it until his friends Zion and Aliyah come over for a sleepover to celebrate the end of the school year. The three of them break into the attic where the book is stashed, and soon all three are transported to the world of Chidani. Everything that Cameron has read about his entire life is true: there is a real place called Chidani. However, things are not as they used to be. The queen, Ramala, is not as strong as she once was, ever since her sister stole three magical items from her.
Cameron soon finds out his mother had been to Chidani, and she and Cameron’s father died there while trying to save the queen from her sister. With the death of his mother, Cameron is now the Descendent, an important position which holds certain magic and power. To help protect the queen, Cameron, Zion, and Aliyah must track down three stolen objects that are hidden within Chidani before it’s too late. They must fight evil creatures and powerful gods on their quest to find these artifacts while trying to stay alive, which is especially difficult for a group of twelve year olds who just arrived in a new world.
Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms is a riveting, action-packed debut by author Jamar J. Perry. Perry uses Igbo mythology to build a magical and beautiful Chidani for readers to experience. Many have compared this book to Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, which pulled from African American folk tales and West African mythology. Jamar J. Perry has used the backdrop of Igbo mythology to also touch on childhood grief and the importance of friendship. This is clearly the start of a fantastic series, and I cannot wait to see what Cameron, Zion, and Aliyah get up to next.