90s dorm room mood-setter Dave Matthews is teaming up with acclaimed children’s author Clete Barrett Smith to write a middle grade fantasy novel, reports EW today:
“Titled If We Were Giants, the book follows a young girl who must confront her past mistakes before she can save her peaceful community from a gigantic threat, and reflects Matthews’ work as a humanitarian and environmentalist. Here’s the official synopsis:
Kirra, a curious, agile, and outgoing girl, lives in an idyllic community hidden inside a dormant volcano. She and her father are the only two people allowed to venture beyond its walls. Kirra is in training to become a Storyteller like him, and together they travel from village to village spreading fearsome tales designed to keep outsiders away from their secret nest. One day, after hearing rumors of strangers called the Takers, Kirra leaves the volcano by herself, hoping to discover her own story. But she unknowingly leads the Takers back to her doorstep, and they rob her of everything she has ever held dear. A devastated Kirra is found by a boy named Luwan and adopted into his family, which lives among others high in the trees of a dense forest. Now quiet and withdrawn, Kirra hides her dark past from everyone and never wants to leave the safety of her tree dwelling. Luwan, on the other hand, loves to explore. One day it leads to trouble: He is captured while spying on a group of strangers. The Takers have returned. To save the Tree Folk, Kirra must face her inner demons and summon all her storytelling to weave the most important tale of her life.”
This seems like a smart business pivot for the South African-born Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, given that a sizable percentage of DMB superfans now probably have children of middle grade novel-reading age. Some of these children may have even been conceived while their parents were listening to “Crash Into Me” (which still slaps).
Wouldn’t that be a delightful story to tell Billy and his friends while waiting in line at the Scholastic Book Fair?