Donovan’s Gauntlet (Children of Woodvale #1)

Mark Daley is a former teenage crimefighter fed up with his life. He’s got nothing to look forward to in his sophomore year at Woodvale High except helping his one-time commander Lyle Banister hatch crazy schemes to make himself famous. But all that changes when Mark meets the SG Crew, a group of five rambunctious juniors who give him a taste of everyday adventure and show him a way to escape his past.

There’s just one problem: Lyle doesn’t want to let Mark go, and he’ll do whatever it takes to hold the remnants of his team together. Even if it means starting a schoolwide riot.

There have been so many versions of this book it’s kind of insane. The first was actually an early draft of Night of the Crimson Twig from junior high; I wrote the initial School Kids SG incarnation much later, when I was supposed to be taking notes in my 12th grade English class. An edited version of that story saw print for the first time in late 2003, through iUniverse, only to be followed by a deluxe edition with more edits and a better-drawn cover in late 2006, when I switched to Lulu. More edits to that edition would follow until I did a fourth release with the new, more distinctive title “Donovan’s Gauntlet” in 2013; by that time, I’d also posted the deluxe edition to my old blog one chapter at a time as part of a serialization experiment, making the print version temporarily unavailable so I could rerelease it when the serialization finished. I gave Donovan’s Gauntlet the third cartoon cover you see here in 2016, but started on yet another edit in 2017 that included a black-and-white line art cover made by tracing over a photograph; this was intended to be the first of a batch of similar covers as I prepared to rebrand SKSG as Children of Woodvale. However, I pulled all of SKSG back before that edit was even completed and started combining the first ten stories of the series into one huge volume, which now contains an even newer edit of the Donovan’s Gauntlet content that I like better than the previous edit I never finished. Whew!

If you’d like to get a copy of Donovan’s Gauntlet as a single volume, use the Contact Me form and I’ll email you a direct-purchase link. .