Barry WolvertonAuthor of THE VANISHING ISLAND, book one of The Chronicles of the Black Tulip, available in paperback Sept. 6, and the forthcoming sequel, THE DRAGON'S GATE, which just received a STARRED review from Kirkus.


About Me

I have been writing for children for 20 years, helping create books, documentary television, and online content for Discovery Networks, National Geographic, the Library of Congress, Scholastic, and Time-Life Books, among others. Inspired by authors such as Lewis Carroll and Mark Twain, as well as folk tales and mythology from around the world, I love to combine wordplay and humor with dramatic plots to create rich narrative worlds for readers.

My debut novel, NEVERSINK, was named the Children’s Book of Choice by Literacy Mid-South for their Read Across America program in 2014. The first book in THE VANISHING ISLAND trilogy is available now.


Wolverton debuts with a whimsical fantasy that does for Arctic waterfowl what the Redwall series did for woodland creatures. The author is a natural storyteller, giving readers a charmingly wry, offbeat tale that draws on mythology and intersperses a good amount of information about Arctic wildlife amid the story’s humor. (Publishers Weekly)

With history and myths reminiscent of Norse sagas, Neversink and its feathered denizens impart lessons in power, leadership and the role of “stories” in the guise of a fantasy adventure. An unexpected hero and his amusing, devoted helpers entertain and inspire. (Kirkus Reviews)

[NEVERSINK] reads with the epic ambition of Watership Down, but with laughs. Debut author Wolverton uses humor to keep some of the weightier topics in reach of young readers, and the mythos he has created is both logical and lovely (the story of the goddess Sedna being a particular example). An intelligent, entertaining fantasy with snappy dialogue and well-developed characters, all designed to keep readers engaged to the final, satisfying page. (Booklist)

[NEVERSINK] is a story described by the publisher as an epic and funny tale of survival, friendship, and fish. Neversink is much more than that. As one becomes absorbed in the struggle of the auks to retain their independence, themes of manipulation, domination, loyalty, and personal courage also surface. Although the novel is intended for middle readers, these underlying, more sophisticated themes also make Neversink an appropriate book for struggling adolescent readers. (Maria Lamattina, EdD, Children's Literature Reviews)

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this book a 100! It's one of the best books I've ever read. (Ella, 10, Fresh Ink Blog)

Read more about, and purchase Neversink.

Teachers, download the Audubon/Project Puffin-approved Teaching Guide under Extras!

The Vanishing Island

In the first book of Wolverton's fantasy trilogy, the hero embarks on a gripping high-seas adventure packed with action, magic, and folklore spanning East and West. Fast-paced and entertaining, this fine opener will keep both fantasy and historical-fiction buffs turning the pages. (Kirkus Reviews)

This engaging historical narrative will draw readers in who love stories of adventure and exploration with a strong dose of fantasy. The alternate history angle includes both the grossly realistic details of sailing and living in the Age of Discovery with the dark supernatural creepiness of ancient magic and folk tales. The cliff-hanger ending guarantees that Bren's journey doesn't end with this first book. (School Library Journal)

Wolverton’s (Neversink) story speeds along suspensefully through a history intriguingly different from our own. The privations and hazards of sea travel are thoroughly depicted (as is the unpleasant reality of Bren’s work in a vomitorium), and the occasional moment of magic is gracefully understated. (Publishers Weekly)

Download The Vanishing Island Activity Kit (PDF).


Mitchell Guyer, a fan in Anchorage, Alaska, sent me two amazing drawings he did inspired by Neversink. Check them out here!

Mrs. Dell's 5th grade poetry class wrote poems inspired by Neversink. Check them out here.

I have a new three-book deal! And the best part is, I get to keep working with Jordan Brown and Walden Pond Press. Look for the first book in THE VANISHING ISLAND trilogy in early 2015.

More puffin love from Publishers WeeklyKirkus Reviews, and Booklist!

Lovely review from Teach Mentor Texts, a blog devoted to child literacy and reading. Great ideas on using NEVERSINK in the classroom.

How many fiction writers get excited about a review from a birding journal? Well if you write about puffins and tried to keep it real, you do. Check out the American Birding Association's review.

NEVERSINK is a selection of the Children's Book Council's Early Career Committee! I'm pretty excited to be among some of the great authors they've picked.

The first official review of NEVERSINK comes from — wait for it — Tasmania! Young Aussie blogger Romi Foster wrote me back in the Spring asking if she could review the book, and courtesy of Walden Pond Press, Lockley made the long flight down under. Fortunately, it was worth it! Read Romi's review.


Email Barry at

Represented by Jennifer Rofé
Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Thank you for your interest!