Saurcana lizard Saurcana
Terror of the Sea

Praise for The Novel

“The political and social themes of the novel, so critical to this generation, are made accessible to young readers thanks to an exciting, suspenseful plot. I believe young readers will savor the intrigue and wrestle with the concepts much like the characters you birthed. More significantly, this novel will inspire young readers to think for themselves and to appreciate more fully the power and responsibilities of citizens in a free society.”

— Sharron E. Montgomery
trainer-writer for Houston ISD’s
Houston Partnership for Character

“Robert Hager has created a story for all age groups and for all time. Wherever people live in community under some form of rule, be it government, religious, king, or emperor, this story will forever address the tension between individual freedoms and the methods the community uses to control those freedoms.

Esper, the hero of Mr. Hager’s tale, in the exuberance of his youth does not fully grasp the real risk he is taking in seeking knowledge and truth. Esper, in his upbringing and schooling, has not been fully indoctrinated to see the world as prescribed by the ruling class. Thus, Esper is dangerous to the status quo of the community and, when found out, is at risk of having the powers invested in the ruling class aligned against him. Esper sees the Emperor has no clothes and sets out to investigate whether he is seeing rightly. Our hero, Esper, has not predetermined what he might find during his investigation, but his desire to understand the truth drives him forward despite the dangers the truth might hold.

In one such episode, Esper learns that he possesses within himself all that is needed to be a natural swimmer. Mr. Hager lets us see how misinformation inhibits natural abilities and how it is perpetuated in order to maintain various societal rules.

Esper learns during his adventure that others know the truth, but these individuals for one reason or another are relegated to preserving the truth, so that it can be passed on to one who is in a position to publish it to the community.

We are heartened by Mr. Hager’s tale because it turns out positive and truth prevails. Yet, underneath the victory we come to understand the eternal struggle between the individuals desire to be free and the communities desire to control those freedoms.”

—Victor R. Scarano, M.D., J.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Chief, Forensic Psychiatry Services
Menninger Department of Psychiatry
Baylor College of Medicine

"Robert Hager takes you through moral predicaments that young readers can identify with. Esper is an adventurous character, and Saurcana is an unusual and a terrifyingly brilliant place to visit. This novel is a terrific choice for all libraries; you won't be able to keep this book on the shelves."

— Tedra Tubbs
Elementary School and Middle School Librarian
Pasadena ISD

The book Saurcana taught me a good lesson. You should follow your heart. Esper [the protagonist] is a good role model because he believes in what he thinks even when others make fun of what he believes in. He really inspires me and maybe other people because he shows that if you believe, you can do many things and achieve many things.”

— Angel Macias
Pasadena ISD 6th grade student


“The Teacher’s Sourcebook for Saurcana is every teacher’s dream. Mr. Leslie and Mr. Hager have put together an incredible set of questions that help immensely in guided reading instruction. All questions are thought provoking and . . . TEKS coded! The vocabulary activities are superb and . . . TEKS coded. If students read the book independently, there are chapter quizzes to check their comprehension. The answer key is . . . TEKS coded. Also included in this 120 page manual are some excellent activities for the students.”

— Dawn Lewis
Pasadena ISD reading teacher

“From the first sentence, Hager delves right into the action and never lets go until his thrilling, life-affirming climax. This book is a perfect choice for fantasy fans as well as reluctant readers new to the genre. What a stellar first novel. I cannot wait to get this book into the hands of young adults everywhere.”

— Roger Leslie
author, librarian,
national book reviewer

“On one level a wonderful story full of suspense, questioning and adventure and on another the discovery and use of one’s mind and sensibilities.”

— Frances Tarlton Farenthold
former president of Wells College

© 2005-11 by Robert Hager. Seaworm Press and Saurcana are service marks of Robert Hager.
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