These are two brand new novels written for eight to 12 year old boys - especially those who are reluctant readers!
These books are fun, engaging, and exciting. They aren't necessarily for boys who have difficulty reading, but more for kids who just don't like to pick up a book; you know, the kids you have to bribe to get them to read! Well, they won't want to put these books down. I tested them out on my own 12-year-old, and he absolutely loved them! In his own words, "Mom, you have got to tell this guy to write more of these books - they are even better than Star Wars!"
Now, if you knew my son, you would know that this is indeed high praise! He devoured both of the manuscripts I was sent to review, and while I want to tell you the plot and what happens, I don't want to ruin it for you!
These are wholesome, family books with a godly viewpoint. You will be able to hand your child a book and not worry about pre-reading it (Although you may want to; they are that good!).
I can tell you about the author, though. To quote from the publisher himself or herself: As a child, Max Anderson hated to read. This was ironic because his father was an author. To make matters even worse, his father also wrote children's books. Max grew up in a family of seven children. It was easy for this lack of interest in reading to go unnoticed. As he grew older he found that doing well on tests was difficult because much of that testing included reading comprehension. He made it through school, and college where he was attracted to psychology; he liked to understand how people think, and why. He married, and had children, who were exposed to hundreds of books thanks to his wife, and the importance of reading was established in his own home. Years later, after his children were grown, he wanted to understand why he hated reading. Max says."I found that the style in which most children's books were written didn't necessarily welcome in the reluctant reader. There seemed to be a kind of, 'This is the way we've always done it,' frame of mind. This carried over into my early relationships with acquisition editors at publishing houses where I attempted to have my books published. The more rejections I received, the more determined I was to write books in a fresh new way. I hoped that this would attract young readers today who feel like I did when I was just a boy."
Mr. Anderson's rejection folder is stuffed with letters turning down his proposals. But he continued writing his Christian adventure chapter books. "I just kept focusing on that one boy, from 8 - 13, who was struggling to read the books his mother kept bringing home. In my research, I also went looking for young readers who would be willing to try out my theory about the books I was writing."
In August of this year, Tweener Press [published] Newspaper Caper. They have over 20 years of publishing industry experience. These are the first people to "get it" and understand what Mr. Anderson is trying to accomplish. The second title, Terror at Wolf Lake is due out this November. After that the plan is to release one new title every two months at least through 2004. To date, fourteen manuscripts are complete.
The two manuscripts we read at our house, Newspaper Caper and Terror at Wolf Lake are wonderful books, and will definitely leave you wanting more! These are a welcome addition to the literary scene, and they are books that we will keep in our house for years!