Saturday, October 15, 2011

Has something been stolen from your children & Grandchildren?

When I tell kids that something has been stolen from them, and they don’t even know it, they’re surprised. What’s been stolen? It’s the use of their imagination.
Kids have so many distractions with TV, video games, computers, and all sorts of other electronic devices. There is now a generation Z. Those are the children who have grown up thinking the Internet has always been there.

But here’s the problem. Previous generations went outside to play, invent games, explore, and create they’re own fun. That’s not so true now.
Today, others tell our kids how things should look, sound, smell, taste, and they manipulate through music, graphics, and sound effects. I know because I devoted most of my life to the production of films, video programs, and television commercials.

This month of October marks ten years since I began writing adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 13. I began this journey because of a concern about what was happening to our kids, and because many were not being motivated to read, especially boys. 

We can do something about this. We’re the adults. Children in the age group of 8 – 13 still listen and respond to what adults tell them. They must learn that connections are made in the brain, while reading, that don’t happen any other way. They need to understand that reading will open a more successful path through their education and in life. But we don’t have to say it like that. All we need to do is make reading fun and attractive to them.


For younger children, we can read to them, or listen while they read. They need to see us reading, too. With older children, it may be more difficult. Here, we have to begin setting limits by controlling the use of electronic devices and the time spent on them. In the case of e-readers, you can use a child’s electronic world to your advantage.

Grandparents: You have a profound influence in the lives of your grandchildren. You probably remember reading the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew when you were growing up. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have books like that today, with clean, moral, ethical content that also taught spiritual concepts but weren’t preachy? That’s exactly what has been written about my books by parents, teachers, and reviewers. They’ve compared my books to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.

Parents: You’re on the front lines of this battle. You know firsthand how hard it is to find something for your children to read that they will find exciting and interesting. You can set the limits between reading and all other activities. Some of those things can be used as rewards for time spent reading. And, in case you’re wondering, boys and girls report that reading one of my books is like being in an exciting or scary movie. And it’s a good scary, not dark or evil. They also appeal to avid as well as reluctant readers. Most parents, who buy one of my books, tend to get all of them. Here are some typical comments from just a few parents.

“We have just discovered your books and are SO glad we did. Our 11 year old son has thoroughly enjoyed his first of your titles "Lost Island Smugglers". Next up is "Newspaper Caper". Getting him to read was difficult and this is the first time he really wanted to read. Thanks for the quality content and exciting plot!”

“I have purchased two titles, Lost Island Smugglers and When the Lights Go Out, and my 10 year old son is doing something he only does with a handful of books. He is carrying the Lost Island Smugglers everywhere he goes. He finished a book from the library and asked if I had another book for him and that's when I told him I had ordered those two for him. He immediately started reading it and was reading it on the way home from church today INSTEAD of playing his DSi.”

“I can't believe it the concerned mother of two struggling readers...who is also the daughter of a children's librarian ... I think I have purchased EVERY book recommended for reluctant readers HOWEVER, they have ALL fallen short UNTIL today. We were able to purchase Newspaper Caper...and we're hooked!!!”

Dads: It’s very important that you become involved in this process, too. Let your kids see that it's cool to read. And you might like to know that lots of parents are also reading these books. For some dads, it's the first time they ever read a book all the way through.

Teachers: You can see to it that my books are available in your library. Some teachers simply get them to add to the bookshelf in their classrooms. My books have shorter sentences, lots of dialog, humor, and heart-pounding action and adventure. You can also use them as part of your regular classroom reading program. Students will want their own copies. I know, because I hear from schools where this is already happening.

Bookstores: If we hope to have adult readers in the future, we have to begin developing them as children. If you already have a good middle grade reader section in your store, add these titles as well. Then make sure to direct parents to them. They’ll thank you for it.

Legend of the White WolfChurches: You can add these books to your bookstore, library, or tutoring programs. Again, this is happening already in churches across the country. Use them as prizes when you have contests or when children reach certain goals.

We’re at a critical point in our culture. It’s vital that we make sure the next generation is a generation of readers. And besides, readers are the leaders others follow.

I grew up hating to read. Because of that I began to write the kinds of books I would have enjoyed as a child. I bring a lifetime of exciting film production onto the pages of my books. I did this to have a positive impact on the lives of children. I hope you’ll do the same by making my books available to as many children around you as possible. And please tell everyone you know about them. The futures of the children in your circle may depend on what you do.


DenaNetherton said...

I'm so glad you're writing for boys. There's so little out there in reading or entertainment that is not worldly or demonic in nature. Thanks. My grandsons are little, but in a few years they'll be reading. I'll be looking for wholesome books for them.

max said...

Thank you Dena, I appreciate that.

Ellen B said...

Great work on the book trailers and interesting articles.

max said...

Thank you for that Ellen