Jamar J.
Middle Grade Novelist
Kids Indie Next Pick
Travels from: Largo, MD

“Perry presents a fantasy adventure full of adventure, loss, bravery, and perseverance.” —Kirkus Reviews

As a young, quiet boy, stories for Jamar. J. Perry helped to shape who he is today; they were windows into realms of possibility, into the feel and threads of magic, and he is excited to share that feeling with others.

Jamar attended Berea College in Berea, KY, studying psychology at first to the excitement of his parents. Understanding that this field was not his true calling after a year of study, Jamar switched his major to English Literature with a concentration in Education, where he studied the structure and power of contemporary literature while learning how to teach it to middle and high school students. After graduation, Jamar became a middle school teacher in the Washington, D.C. area, hoping to instruct the next generation of scholars, thinkers, and writers.

While teaching, Jamar thought he wanted to be an administrator, leaving his passion for literature behind. He enrolled into a graduate program where he studied educational leadership. After four years of teaching and finishing his Master’s degree, he decided that administration was not his goal in life, as his love for reading and writing would never leave him. He decided to enroll into a PhD program at the University of Maryland, College Park, hoping that he could continue his love for literature and education.

While at the University of Maryland, College Park, Jamar’s research focused on Black boys, the history of traditional and Black masculinity in America, and racial literacy. With this renewed research focus, he began to write again, writing stories for the type of reader he always wanted to engage: reluctant readers, Black boys who needed to understand that they were magic, that they could also have joy, that they could be vulnerable and emotional, that they could be the hero in their own stories.

Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms

Bloomsbury Children’s Books |
Middle Grade Fiction

Inspired by West African and Igbo history and mythology, this adventurous middle-grade fantasy debut perfect for fans of Aru Shah and Tristan Strong celebrates the triumphs and challenges of a boy finding his truth path to greatness.

As the true Descendant, I command to open
The door to Chidani; it shall be broken

Magic awaits those who seek the queen’s peace
And all the suffering you feel will cease

Those who open the histories will hear a sound
What was lost has finally been found.

Cameron Battle grew up reading The Book of Chidani, cherishing stories about the fabled kingdom that cut itself off from the world to save the Igbo people from danger. Passed down over generations, the Book is Cameron’s only connection to his parents who disappeared one fateful night, two years ago.

Ever since, his grandmother has kept the Book locked away, but it calls to Cameron. When he and his best friends, Zion and Aliyah, decide to open it again, they are magically transported to Chidani. Instead of a land of beauty and wonder, they find a kingdom in extreme danger, as the queen’s sister seeks to destroy the barrier between worlds. The people of Chidani have been waiting for the last Descendant to return and save them . . . is Cameron ready to be the hero they need?

Talks for Young Audiences

Character Development and Design
We will use Cameron Battle as a character and fill in a character development sheet together about who he is, what he looks like, what he likes to do, etc. Then students will spend their own time designing their own main character for a book that they can write someday if they choose to.

40 minutes to 1 hour. Prior preparation of reading the first two chapters of Cameron Battle required. Presenter can send the first two chapters if needed. 

Fantasy Worldbuilding
Students will be given a character development sheet for Cameron Battle and they will build a world for him: What problem does he want to solve? Who are his friends? Does he live in a fantasy world or does he go there from the regular world? What does this world look like?

40 minutes to 1 hour. Prior preparation of reading the first two chapters of Cameron Battle required. Presenter can send the first two chapters if needed.

Writing Your Story
This general talk discusses the building blocks of writing a compelling story and how I created my first novel. How can you draw from your own experiences and interests to create a story that hooks others?

40 minutes to 1 hour. No prior preparation required. 

Talks for Youth Advocates

Using Autobiography to Teach Inclusive Fantasy to Black Boys
Speech and interactive assignment with group participants where they read snippets from my novels and tie them back to biography.

1 hour. Prior preparation from youth advocates not required, but I would love for them to read the first book of the Cameron Battle series if they can beforehand. 

Disrupting Traditional Masculinity Performance in Middle Grade Fantasy
This presentation will explore how male fantasy authors engage, analyze, and disrupt traditional masculinity in the middle grade fantasy novels they write. In a world where boys and men are becoming radicalized by toxic, traditional masculinity, I will show how authors attempt through collaboration and connection to begin a discussion on how to disrupt and decolonize patriarchy in novels to show male characters who are in touch with their emotions, who value male friendships, who are queered, to provide models of progressive male hood.

1 hour. Prior preparation from youth advocates not required, but I would love for them to read the first book of the Cameron Battle series if they can beforehand.

Jamar’s Events

Jamar’s Books

Cameron Battle Educator’s Guide | Ages 8-12

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Indies Introduce Winter/Spring 2022 Titles
Shortlist for Leicester Award/Reading Rampage 2022-2023
Waterstones The Best Books of 2022: Children’s Fiction
Kids Indie Next Pick
PhD in Literacy Education, Language, Culture, and Social Inquiry

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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