Books of Ore

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The Foundry's Edge
  • “A mind-blowing, wholly original world that is filled with both peril and beauty.”

    D.J. MacHale, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The authors have created an imaginative and profound world… A fine addition to any middle grade collection.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Put this first in a planned series in the same stack as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.”


  • “An edgy, fast-moving, Seuss-ian political allegory for a new generation.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Richly imagined fantasy… stuffed with lavish descriptions.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A big adventure and action-driven romp [with] serious themes underlying the story…”

    A Fantastical Librarian Blog

  • “An excellent start to a really exciting new middle grade series.”

    On Starships and Dragonwings Blog

Disney Hyperion Branding


Twelve-year-old Phoebe Plumm has everything in the world except a friend. She lives in Albright City, an opulent Art Deco metropolis of the future brimming with spectacular luxuries: rocket-fast Cable Bikes and Zip Trolleys, gleaming Televiewers and Computators, and a never-ending parade of streamlined innovations. These mechanical wonders are made by the Foundry, a global corporation with a monopoly on technology where Phoebe’s father, Dr. Jules Plumm, works as Chief Surveyor. But one night, he is brutally abducted. When Phoebe and her rowdy servant boy, Micah Tanner, race to the rescue, they find themselves stranded in a fiercely beautiful realm of living metal called Mehk. Forced to rely on each other, Phoebe and Micah will risk everything to save Dr. Plumm, and in the process, unearth a sinister secret that will change the world.

(From the Publisher)

Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz have fashioned an intensely inventive, engaging, and thought-provoking tale of two worlds on a collision course and the two young rivals who find themselves on the front line. The Foundry’s Edge is the first book in a trilogy that will transport young readers down a mechanical rabbit hole and send them on an adventure that explores the hidden costs of indulgence, the perils of unchallenged nationalism, and the world-altering power of compassion and conviction.


  • Cam Baity & Benny Zelkowicz have created an absolutely original, mind-blowing, wholly original world that is filled with both peril and beauty. The mettle is in the metal in this universe. I found myself traveling through it in constant awe while getting lost in the unique imaginations of these two gifted writers.

    D.J. MacHale, bestselling author of the Pendragon series and the SYLO Chronicles trilogy decorative end-cap

  • Baity and Zelkowicz put their experience as animators to work, describing the alien metal world and its mindbendingly outlandish denizens with such an eye for visual detail that they clatter to life on the page. The imaginative world, whirlwind adventure, tense emotional stakes, and some well-placed laughs put this first in a planned series in the same stack as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

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  • The authors have created an imaginative and profound world. The descriptions of the mehkans are so original and detailed, readers might think these creatures actually exist… THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE explores how the exploitation and destruction of one group unfairly advances another. A fine addition to any middle grade collection.

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  • As this trilogy opener develops, readers will see Phoebe transform herself from a self-acknowledged “stuck-up, pampered little brat” into an assertive mensch, astute to the flaws of the world that she lives in and ready to take on any enemies that come her way. Debut authors Baity and Zelkowicz are both film animators, and here, they work together to create an easily visualized, rollicking ride that explores the dynamics of power and resistance in various incarnations—both human and metallic… An edgy, fast-moving, Seuss-ian political allegory for a new generation.

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  • Baity and Zelkowicz, animators and artistic collaborators whose credits include work on such shows as Robot Chicken and Moral Orel, make their fiction debut with this richly imagined fantasy, first in a trilogy… (They) have created a memorable setting that owes less to steampunk than an atmosphere of retro-futurism, and the authors’ prose is stuffed with lavish descriptions.

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  • A stunning achievement.

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  • The book’s authors are very visual storytellers, creating lush and imaginative landscapes and memorable characters. The language is inventive, as is the world of living metal in which the young heroes find themselves. The plot is fast-paced, the subject is intriguing, and the overall story is very much an allegory for environmental debate in a contemporary North American context… Characterization is another strong suit in this book. Phoebe and Micah are both complex individuals, slowly growing throughout the course of the narrative… This is a wonderfully fast-moving, imaginative, and explosive allegory of corporate greed and environmental destruction for today’s politically aware young readers.

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  • A traditional set-up with a good helping of charm, THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE by Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz packages a lot of common YA fantasy tropes in an unconventional wrapper. Though the biggest ‘surprise’ of the novel is revealed in the first third of the book, it’s a dark twist with far-reaching consequences, and that edge turns the first Book of Ore from a predictable story to an adventure worth taking… The characters of Micah and Phoebe are spot on. They’re believable preteens, and the authors have done a great job highlighting the difference a few years can make at that age… Without spoiling the big secret, I’ll just say that there’s a darkness to this YA tale that will likely appeal to its target audience… Though not quite a cliffhanger, the ending does make the reader wonder, what will happen next?

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  • THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE is an excellent start to a really exciting new middle grade series. THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE takes place in a secret world full of living metal creatures that seem startlingly similar to the latest inventions in Phoebe and Micah’s world. I absolutely loved this unique blend of steampunk technology and bio-punk inspiration in a Middle Grade story. I can’t wait for the rest of the series just to find out more about the world… Many species in the metal world of THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE appear to be sentient, which raises some really interesting questions about personhood for Phoebe and Micah. Because Phoebe and Micah’s world has come to rely so heavily on the technology developed, however, the kids have to confront some difficult moral grey zones and realize that there isn’t always an easy answer. I loved how THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE presented these questions and worked through both sides of the story to really give younger readers something to puzzle over… It is always refreshing to find adult characters that are actually well-developed in middle grade stories. Phoebe’s dad and other adults running operations in THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE at first seem two-dimensional through Phoebe and Micah’s perspective, but develop into well-rounded characters once the kids start being confronted with the truth of their world.

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  • THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE is the first installment in THE BOOKS OF ORE and is aimed at the middle grade market. As such it is a bit younger than I usually read, but in my opinion it’s very much at the upper range and there will be plenty young adult readers who will get a kick out of this story… The main characters, Phoebe and Micah, are a great duo. Phoebe is a bit of a brat, between the way she treats those who care for her while her father is away and her endless practical jokes, which at times are rather mean-spirited, yet at the same time is oddly endearing and ultimately rather lonely… Phoebe and Micah’s interactions start out rather adversarial, and slowly trust grows between them, yet this doesn’t happen without setbacks either. The gradual change was well-handled and I really liked the bond they forged between them… THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE was fun, yet with serious undertones. This book would be a great read for an adventure-mad middle-grader or young teen and is an entertaining read for adults as well. The first in a series, the book sets up the worlds and events, creating a conflict for the children to resolve in the next book and it will be interesting to see what Phoebe and Micah will have to deal with next, how they will take on The Foundry and help the innocent citizens of Mehk.

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  • The descriptions the authors share of this facinating world are inspiring and believable. Filled with many details, you almost see and feel the inner workings of the Foundry. This story is an exciting read with a little mystery and action. Perfectly suited for the ages listed above… and for those of us who are still young at heart.

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  • Neverland, Pandora, Oz…this first in the Book of Ore series introduces readers to the equally magical world of Mehk. Our contemporary Alice in Metal-land is Phoebe Plumm: a spoiled but awkward rich girl who is forced to team up with the annoying (to her) Micah Tanner. It will be no surprise that these characters grow and bond over the course of this breathless roller coaster ride of an adventure. But the depth of their journey and the emotional payoff at the end really delivered… The Foundry’s Edge is brimming with descriptive action set pieces, gizmos, creatures, and landscapes. Fortunately, the language is never less than poetic, especially when summoning the textures and gears of “living metal” to life… It is this extra level of social consciousness, spirituality, and morality that separates THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE from most escapist fantasy. I’m looking forward to the sequels!

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  • The authors have created two engaging protagonists. They set them in a fascinating world, and then send them on a quest of adventure and self-discovery…  And this is where the amusing, engaging and even endearing “African Queen” vibe comes. (Phoebe) has to loosen her stiff neck and recognize Micah’s virtues and talents. Micah has to stop treating her like a delicate bluenose and recognize that she has some engaging spirit and gumption. Really, middle grade Hepburn and Bogart. I enjoyed it immensely… An immersive world, a novel plot, two appealing characters who develop nicely during the course of the tale, and some ripping action. That works for me.

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Art & Maps


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Cams portriat

Cam Baity

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Cam was born during a nasty heat wave in Richardson, Texas. He has been drawing ever since he figured out how to use his hands, and in second grade he wrote his first book about an adventurous wombat in fluorescent high-top sneakers named “Mr. Cuzul.” In fourth grade, he got his first taste of celluloid when he starred in an independent feature penned by Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Tracy Letts. Fortunately for Cam, the film was never completed.

He discovered Dungeons & Dragons in middle school and soon became obsessed with making art and telling stories. Attending the Arts Magnet High School in Dallas, Cam won accolades for his work including First Place in Painting at the 1996 Visual Arts Guild Exhibit. His obsessions with art and story collided when he studied animation at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan as well as CalArts. He made short films, which screened around the world at festivals like Cinequest, Anima Mundi, and the BBC British Short Film Festival. With eighteen years of experience in the film industry, his credits include major motion pictures such as TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE and popular television series like SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and ROBOT CHICKEN, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.

Most recently, Cam has written on Dreamworks TV’s TROLLS, and he is completing his trilogy of fantasy novels published by Disney, THE BOOKS OF ORE. In his spare time, he has returned to the passion of his youth, threatening the livelihood of adventurers as their beloved and oft feared “Dungeon Master.”

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Bennys portrait

Benny Zelkowicz

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Born in Ottawa, Canada to professional musicians, Benny bucked family tradition to pursue a sensible career in the hard sciences. While studying biopsychology at Oberlin College, he spent countless hours in the lab, carefully analyzing the tiny brains of the African knifefish.

By the time he graduated, he realized that his own brain was consumed not with his research, but with the film he was animating in his spare time. So Benny left the poor fish alone and earned an MFA at CalArts, where he developed a special love for stop-motion, clay, and sand animation. His award-winning film, The ErlKing, screened at Sundance, Annecy, and The New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Benny directed the BBC/CBC animated series Lunar Jim and provided the voice for the title character.

Over the past seventeen years, Benny has worked on tons of commercials, music videos, feature films, and TV shows, and is the co-author of the acclaimed BOOKS OF ORE trilogy, published by Disney-Hyperion. He lives in Ohio.

For more info, visit us at:

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Here is a sample of the first three chapters of THE FOUNDRY’S EDGE.

News & Updates

  • The Third Book of Ore: Blaze of Embers

    February 1, 2017

    The final book of our trilogy is coming! It will be available on April 12th, and here is a peek at what it looks like:

  • Mysterious Galaxy Birthday Bash

    April 19, 2016

    23 years of “Martians, Murder, Magic, and Mayhem” will be celebrated on May 7th – and that fits us to a T! We are honored to have been invited to the greatest bookstore with the greatest staff on the greatest day. Come join the festivities! Here are the details.

  • WAYBOUND Event at Pages

    April 11, 2016

    We will be at the amazing book store Pages in Manhattan Beach on April 13th at 6:30 – come heckle us! Details are here.