The Nowhere Emporium – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

Last updated

Are you looking for an exciting new way to introduce your students to the world of literature?

The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie is an enchanting story about a young orphan discovering a magical store filled with secrets, curiosities, and fantastic creatures.

By planning and structuring lessons around this innovative novel, teachers have an excellent opportunity to inspire creativity in their classrooms while delving into important topics like family life, courage, humour and resilience!

In this post, we present ideas and activities for engaging students in exploring the characters and themes of The Nowhere Emporium from different points of view.

Related: For more, check out our article on The Invisible Boy  here.

The Nowhere Emporium

The Storyline of The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie

The Nowhere Emporium is a magical story written by Ross Mackenzie. It follows the story of a young orphan named Daniel who discovers the mysterious Nowhere Emporium, an ever-changing wonderland full of extraordinary and enchanting things.

He befriends the shopkeeper and discovers that the store is much more than it seems.

Through a series of adventures, he learns about the secrets behind the store and also learns to believe in himself.

With help from his new friends, they must embark on a dangerous mission to stop an evil force from destroying the Nowhere Emporium and its magical wonders.

Along their journey, they encounter unique challenges with courage and bravery and experience great joy in solving problems together.

Daniel discovers his self-worth in this captivating adventure and realizes that anything is possible with enough hope and determination.

Critical Themes in The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie


Courage is crucial in Daniel and his friends’ journey to save the Nowhere Emporium.

It takes courage for Daniel to believe in himself and venture out on his own and courage from all of them to face the various dangers they encounter.


Daniel finds companionship through his newfound friends during their mission to the Nowhere Emporium.

Together, they can overcome the obstacles they face with support and encouragement from each other. This highlights the importance of friendship throughout their adventure together.


Daniel learns that believing in oneself is just as important as having a friend you can rely on.

He gradually develops self-belief through his experiences on their mission, which helps him become a more confident person in the end.


Magic is an essential element that enables Daniel and his friends to complete their mission and save the Nowhere Emporium from destruction.

It ties all the characters’ stories together and allows them to explore new possibilities despite what stands before them.

nowhere emporium

Key Characters in The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie


Daniel is the main protagonist of the book. He is an orphan looking for a place to call home and finds it in the Nowhere Emporium.

Through his journey, he learns to trust and believe in himself, allowing him to complete his mission successfully.


Mara is a mysterious shopkeeper at the Nowhere Emporium who befriends Daniel after she recognizes his potential.

She helps him understand the secrets behind the store and guides him on his journey.


Xando is a high-spirited elf who joins Daniel on his quest. He provides comic relief throughout their journey but also proves helpful in helping them navigate through magical realms and encounter dangerous enemies with courage and bravery.


Sage is an old wizard tasked with protecting the Nowhere Emporium from becoming exposed to evil forces.

He guides Daniel and his friends on their mission with wisdom and patience which ultimately helps them come out victorious in their battle against evil forces.

Xando’s Influence in The Nowhere Emporium

Xando is a high-spirited elf who joins Daniel on his quest and provides comic relief throughout their journey.

He is an essential companion to Daniel, helping him face his fears and believe in himself. His courage and bravery also prove indispensable when encountering dangerous enemies.

Finally, Xando’s expertise with magical realms enables them to navigate the unknown and ultimately emerge victorious in their battle against evil forces.

Ways in Which Xando Proves to be Important to Daniel

  1. He helps to boost Daniel’s confidence and faith in himself.
  2. He provides comic relief throughout their journey.
  3. His courage and bravery help them face dangerous enemies.
  4. His expertise with magical realms enables them to navigate through the unknown successfully.
  5. He helps them come out victorious in their battle against evil forces.

Examples of Xando’s Aid in Battle Against Evil Forces

  1. When the evil witch tried to cast a spell on Daniel and his friends, Xando quickly used his magical powers to protect them from harm.
  2. He used his wisdom to advise Daniel during battle, helping him make sound decisions when faced with challenging obstacles and enemies.
  3. Xando provided an additional force for the group, giving them an advantage against various adversaries they encountered throughout their journey.
  4. He enabled the team to use magical portals to access remote areas of the Emporium where powerful forces lay dormant, waiting for someone brave enough to confront them.

The Powerful Forces That Lurk in the Remote Areas of the Emporium

The remote areas of the Emporium are home to powerful forces that must be faced for Daniel and his companions to progress on their journey.

These forces include dark wizards, evil witches, and formidable beasts that lurk deep within the shadows.

They possess magical powers that could threaten Daniel and his team’s safety if not confronted carefully. Xando’s knowledge and experience with these forces allow him to guide Daniel through these treacherous lands.

Learning Opportunities from The Nowhere Emporium

Discussion of problem-solving skills and how they can be applied to different situations.

Exploration of the concept of morality, such as making ethical choices in difficult circumstances.

Practice understanding and analyzing how characters respond differently to similar situations, depending on their beliefs and values.

Utilizing creative thinking when facing a variety of challenges throughout the story.

Examining how relationships evolve as characters interact in different settings, with various stakes at play.

Lesson Plan for Teaching The Nowhere Emporium


  • Understand the story, characters and plot of The Nowhere Emporium
  • Analyze the motivations behind the characters’ decisions
  • Create a narrative based on the story Introduction: Introduce the book and its plot points to students. Give them time to ask questions, share their opinions, and discuss what they think will happen next in the story. Main Teaching Points:
  • Engage students in role-playing activities where they take turns depicting different events from the book and exploring possible motives for characters’ choices.
  • Brainstorm ideas for stories set in the Nowhere Emporium with students and encourage them to be creative and add their twist to existing elements.

Reflection & Key Questions:

After discussing topics related to the story, ask students to reflect on how those conversations can apply to their lives.

Address critical questions such as “how does this character’s decision relate to your life?” or “what would you do if you were in this character’s situation?”.


Invite students to make up their rules for The Nowhere Emporium or adapt some original elements by creating new adventures with existing characters.

Overview of Resources for Teaching The Nowhere Emporium

Literacy Shed Plus : This resource provides a detailed overview of The Nowhere Emporium, including plot points, characters, and themes from the book. It also offers guidance on using activities from this resource in the classroom.

TES: 32 Lessons for The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie – Year 4 5 6 (English Planning): This resource includes 32 lesson plans based on different elements from the book, such as plot structure and character development. It guides activities and student discussions related to each lesson plan.

Ross MacKenzie’s Activity Pack: This activity pack focuses on themes of magic and imagination throughout the book. The activities are designed for school or home classrooms and can be adapted according to age group.


Q: What is the plot of The Nowhere Emporium?

A: The Nowhere Emporium follows the journey of a boy named Daniel as he discovers a magical shop filled with mysteries and wonders. Daniel encounters various characters along his adventure that teach him lessons about friendship, sacrifice, and courage.

Q: What types of activities can teachers use to facilitate learning in their classrooms?

A: Several resources are available to aid teachers in teaching The Nowhere Emporium. Activities such as role-playing scenarios, brainstorming ideas for stories set in the Nowhere Emporium, and reflecting on how conversations apply to students’ lives are just some examples.

Q: What age group is this book suitable for?

A: The Nowhere Emporium is suitable for children aged 8 to 12.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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