On a hunt for his missing kid sister, fifth-grade student Isaac Thompson and friends venture into a lair beneath their school, where they find some unexpected residents — an infantry of armed rats, a talking human-sized bat and a derisive prison guard. That’s the precarious situation posed by local writer and book designer Douglas Gibson, who also contributes to Xpress’ arts coverage. Unfortunately for the subterranean crew of youngsters (some inspired by the novelist’s son and his buddies), Gibson has dreamed up another obstacle: Humans who linger in “the Underground” transform into nasty servants for the lair’s tyrant Elf King. Oh dear! Find out more about the imaginative adventure, recommended for students in grades four through seven, when Gibson discusses his debut book Tales of a Fifth-Grade Knight at Malaprop’s Saturday, Sept. 26, at 3 p.m. Free. Malaprops.com. Photo courtesy of the author
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