Choose the statement that best describes Mightier Than the Sword:
A. TOTALLY RIDICULOUS
B. AN IMAGINATIVE ADVENTURE INTO A FANTASY WORLD
C. MARVELOUS WORD PLAY
D. CREATIVE ENDEAVOR. SPOT ON FOR ITS TARGETED AUDIENCE
It doesn’t matter which answer you chose—They’re all correct!
The hardback edition was released last year and in July came this splashy new cover for the paperback version. Here’s the official blurb:
Wildly funny and inventive, this interactive book pulls you, the reader, into the action. Yes, YOU!You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You’re a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil, you have the power to create: what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story!Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers–a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon–you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure and prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.
MY TAKE: There’s nothing quite like this in the middle grade reading world. The story has you filling in the blanks to create something needed for the plot, but you also get to draw a few things like a map or a car to get you around. Just when you have the flow figured out, Page 50 is upside down and there’s a flip book beginning on page 207.
The last time I read something with over 100 footnotes was in a World History class in college. The notes were dry references or explanations. Here though, the 113 bottom-of-the-page notes provide their own little spots of humor and insights.
The storytelling technique is not for everyone. It will appeal to kids who would rather do anything else than read. It works. My copy of the book was swooped away by an eleven-year old boy who “Only reads when he has to.”
The second story in the Mightier Than The Sword series., THE EDGE OF THE WORD comes out in November. I’ll be featuring it here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE.
For now, sharpen your pencil and get this first story in the hands of those less than enthusiastic readers. Merci beaucoup!
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS
We are alarmed by the rise of smartphones in kids’ lives and the resulting diminishment of mental space kids have for creativity. We wrote Mightier Than the Sword to be stimulating and playful, to provoke young readers’ creative instincts, so they’ll reach for a pencil—instead of a phone—and start drawing, start writing, start creating something of their own, but above all: KEEP READING!
Coming up this Monday is another edition of…
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