The Call to Shakabaz is a children’s book that is important for everyone to know about. I suggest you buy it and read it together with the whole family.” – Bev Smith, nationally syndicated talk radio host

“This is a book about finding personal strength, in all different forms, and appreciating the talents of others, and the strength in uniting different people, and so much more! I want to buy a copy for everyone I know, regardless of age, race, or sex. It’s part fantasy, part history lesson, part real life—I can’t even describe it!” — Carrie Spellman, Teens Read Too

“This midgrade fantasy is perfect for a young reluctant reader. We ranked this excellent book five hearts.” — Bob Spear, Heartland Reviews

“First and foremost, The Call to Shakabaz is a highly readable, entertaining fantasy that anyone can enjoy. But beyond that, it fills some important holes in fantasy literature. The four children are African-American and many aspects of African-American culture are integrated into the story. It’s about time that a good fantasy came along featuring characters that African-American children can identify with.” — Sheila Ruth, Wands and Worlds

“When I was a child, no one ever wrote about Black children. We were still calling each other whenever a Black person was coming on TV, ‘Nat King Cole gonna be on TV tonight’. Now, 53 and grandmother to a host of children, to them I can read a tale about Black girls and boys who have adventures, rise above their fears, and so help me God, save the whole wide world! I had to wait 53 years before a Black girl could ride the white horse.” – Jessica Nelson, English teacher, University of San Francisco

“Highly recommended.” — James Cox, editor-in-chief, The Midwest Book Review

“Do you want to read a good adventure book with a great storyline and no violence? If you do, you will want to check out this one. Amy Wachspress has a great imagination. I will definitely read this book again!” — Brianne Plach (age 9) for Readers Views

“This book is a terrific fantasy book for kids. With the popularity of the Narnia series, The Call to Shakabaz could easily become a favorite for students and teachers. It kept Brianne very enthused about reading.” – Brianne’s mother for Readers Views

“At the Mendocino Book Company reading [of The Call to Shakabaz], my 9-year-old sat captivated as Wachspress read several excerpts. She broke her concentration long enough to lean over to me and whisper ‘Can we get this book?’ – a resounding endorsement for this new work by Amy Wachspress.” – Dot Brovarney, coordinator, Mendocino LitFest

“The climax of The Call to Shakabaz was especially thrilling. We [Mark and Andrea Blevis and their two daughters] had the absolute time of our life—laughing, crying, glowing and agonizing—during the march on Sissrath. What a wild and wonderful ride!!! We will be giving Shakabaz as gifts this year and we will continue to shout its praises wherever we go. — Andrea Blevis, Just One More Book (podcasts about children’s books), Ontario, Canada

“I missed my bus stop by eight stops because I was so engrossed in reading The Call to Shakabaz.” – Stephanie Vela, children’s books manager, Black Oak Books

“This is a children’s book in the tradition of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.” – Tom Elliott, book review editor, Mensa Bulletin

“I felt like I was right there sharing the adventure. You will love this book.” – Gabriela Kong, age 14

“My son who just turned 13 is not a reader but he may be one now. I have never seen him as absorbed in a book as The Call to Shakabaz, which he devoured. He sat for hours reading it and says he is ready for the sequel.” – Amy Foster, parent (Amazon reviewer)

“I was just going to quickly review this book for my grandchildren – instead I got hooked! A well-written fantasy, with stress on positive values, and a plot with enough twists and turns to keep you interested.” – Eleanor Cohen, grandmother (Amazon reviewer)

The Call to Shakabaz is full of action and surprises. If you haven’t read the book yet get a copy!!!!” – Nico Correia, age 12 (Amazon reviewer)

“We just finished reading your novel yesterday and it was a big hit with the students. It strikes me as a Lord of the Rings meets The Fifth Sacred Thing and I enjoyed it as well. My students are thinking that you should be working on the sequel.” – Timothy McEnry, teacher, Spy Rock Elementary School

“I just started reading The Call to Shakabaz and I am loving it! I wish I could stay home and read.” – Rani Saijo, owner, Leaves of Grass Books

“The vocabulary goofs of Hyacinth in The Call to Shakabaz are some of the best comic relief I’ve ever come across.” – Dr. Steven Wirth, physician, family practice

The Call to Shakabaz is so full of invention and shareable feelings. It’s like an African American Narnia. The characters are really believable. I’ve ordered an extra copy for the Family Learning Institute and one for my sister, who has four grandchildren.” – Dr. James McIntosh, Ph.D., retired English professor, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

“How refreshing to read an adventure tale that does not depend on clichéd British medieval imagery!” – Eris Weaver, librarian (Amazon reviewer)

  • One of the top 10 children’s books sold in spring 2007 by Black Oak Books, Berkeley, California
  • Recommended in Marching Orders, the newsletter for the Million Mom March
  • Recommended by online reviewers Book Pleasures, Book Loons, The Taz, and more
  • Recommended by Johanna Cummings, Wild Oak Living, KZYX radio
  • Recommended by Bev Smith of The Bev Smith Show, nationally syndicated
  • Recommended by Just One More Book!
  • Winner of multiple national and regional awards and honors
  • Featured at Mendocino LitFest, The Solar Living Institute’s Annual SolFest, Sonoma County Book Festival, and Today’s Author Blog