The Lost Kingdom

by Matthew J. Kirby

Scholastic Press
September 2013

Ages 10 – 12 . Grades 5 – 7

Library of Congress: 2012043516

Lexile measure: 620L

In this extraordinary adventure story, Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc, seeking aid in the coming war against the French. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.
THE LOST KINGDOM is an epic journey filled with marvelous exploits, courage and intrigue, and a bold reimagining of a mythical America. Matthew J. Kirby brings his signature storytelling prowess and superb craft to this astonishing story of fathers and sons, the beginnings of a nation, and wonder-filled adventure.
Matthew J. Kirby

Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed author of the middle-grade novels Icefall, which won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and the PEN Literary Award for Children's Literature; The Clockwork Three, which was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start; The Lost Kingdom; Last Descendants, an Assassin's Creed novel; The Quantum League: Spell Robbers; and Cave of Wonders, the fifth book in the Infinity Ring series. He was born in Utah and grew up in Maryland, California, and Hawaii. Matthew is currently at work on his next novel.


  • Praise for ICEFALL
    Winner of the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery
    Winner of the 2012 PEN Center Literary Award
    A 2012 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
    A New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing Selection
    Winner of the Judy Lopez Memorial Award

    "[A] taut, compelling mystery and survival story." -BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS

    "[A] claustrophobic, thought-provoking coming-of-age adventure that shows a young woman growing into her own, while demonstrating the power of myth and legend." -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

    "Elegant and exciting." -BOOKLIST

    "A well-crafted story rich with emotion and intrigue. A thoroughly engaging read!" -Brandon Mull, bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series

    "Clear, lively, exciting, and unstoppable as the torrent of meltwater from a glacier, ICEFALL confirms Matthew Kirby as one of our finest new writers for young adults. Readers of any age may be enthralled by the bitter Nordic winter setting and the story of a girl who needs a lot of courage to discover who she is." -Ursula K. Le Guin, acclaimed author of the Earthsea Cycle

    "In this riveting historical fantasy . . . debut novelist Kirby has assembled all the ingredients for a rousing adventure, which he delivers with rich, transporting prose." -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

    "[M]emorable characters, hearty action, and palpable atmospherics." -BOOKLIST


The bear-wolf stood on its hind legs, looked up at us, and slammed both of its front paws against the ship's hull with its full weight. The de Terzi jolted, and I felt the reverberation through my boots.
"We don't have two minutes!" my father shouted. "That thing is strong enough to crack the hull!"
The bear-wolf heaved itself against the ship a second time, and I heard the sound of wood splintering.
"I'm working as fast as I can!" Mr. Faries shouted. "Someone take the helm!"
Mr. Kinnersley raced to the controls. "I'll do it!"
"Wait for my mark!" Mr. Faries said.
The ship thundered with a third blow from the bear-wolf. The animal roared, and something in it sounded triumphant. Almost as if it had realized it was breaking through.
"Mr. Faries?" my father said.
"Now!" Mr. Faries said, letting a rope lose in his harness. I shouted in alarm as he plummeted toward the deck, but he pulled the rope tight just as he was about to hit and stopped his fall.
Mr. Kinnersley threw a lever, and the de Terzi eased upward out of the bear-wolf's reach. We all looked over the edge, watching the animal grow smaller as our ship moved slowly down the river, and I began to feel safe enough to relax a little. But the bear-wolf pursued us, never taking its eyes from us as it stalked down the riverbank, parallel with the ship.