In this book I have taken true life events that have actually occurred in my lifetime. My inspiration was about a real life game of Russian roulette. The last soul survivor of five young teenage boys was the one who told me his story. They did not all die from the actual playing of the game, but it did cause the boys a deep depression that took their lives, one by one. However, they did not all die the way my book describes. In fact, one of the boys death's was context I used from a real incident that took place when I was growing up. He was my friend. This boy was being bullied by six other teenage boys. After beating him up and ramming his head through a plate glass window of the local paramount theater, he decided to end it all and jump in front of a train. Bullying is a serious matter that can effect young minds in ways that are so horrible, you might not fi nd out what is really going on with them, until it is too late. May Tommy rest in peace. But I could not end this book here. I believe that when something bad happens, there are always good things to fall in its place. So I threw a few twists into my writings. There is a forest on the outskirts of my home town that was declared the historical cottonwoods, in which I use as the setting for this book. Wandering through the forest one day, I discovered a rather large naturally hollowed out cottonwood tree. This is where one lucky boys adventures begin. The boys built a real working elevator inside the tree that would lead to the bottom of a two story tree house they also constructed. But it does not end there. A magical book of secrets reveals itself. In this book it tells the story about an underground city as it really happens. Inside the hollow of the tree and approximately ten feet below the surface, an underground elevator is activated, once the owner of the book comes forward. This will lead to a hallway full of doors, each leading to mystical places beyond your wildest dreams. At the end of the first hallway is a rather large room where all hallways begin. A hidden ceiling door slides open with a thunderous ear deafening screech. It is the glass bottom of the Fraser river, in which you are able to view underwater creatures in their natural habitat. Down one of the hallways there is a door to an ancient library that tells the history of the underground. It is referred to as the spell room. There is also another door that leads to the four seasons. A big wooden door separates the hallways full of doors from an underground city called the Packs. Inside this city is a rather unique arena where there is a hockey game like you have never seen before.
Bryan Stevenson is the author of Just Mercy and the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, based in Montgomery, Alabama. He is a co-author, with Sherrilyn Ifill, Loretta Lynch, and Anthony C. Thompson, of A Perilous Path (The New Press).