Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Booksurfers - Publishing Innovation at Work
This is a new ebook series geared toward getting more kids to read the classics. The premise is that this evil guy has kidnapped the parents of these kids and he won't return them unless the kids jump into the classic books and steal certain artifacts for him! The two books that are available thus far are Treasure Island and The Wizard of Oz. Plans to release Robin Hood and A Christmas Carol are in the works as well.
I am intrigued by the concept of these books because they blend the classics with a hint of magic to breathe new life into them. Not every classic would be able to be adapted to this type of storytelling (think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and trying to hide 4 kids in a submarine), but the vast majority have enough places to hide extra characters or to allow for direct interaction. I loved the Inkheart Trilogy and can see many parallels to this storyline, except with beloved characters from books gone by.
Another wonderful feature of the books is that being in epub format, the reader is also able to easilly switch over to read the classic in its original form as well. The text is hyoerlinked throughout so the reader is able to transport themselves into the original story at whatever point the characters are visiting it - sans these new characters.
The books are only available in ebook format which may pose an issue for many kids who want to read them because I am sure the number of kids within the ages of 9-12 (where these are geared) do not happen to have ereaders quite yet (though I suppose ipads and ipod touch with the Kindle App would work too - Grrr to Amazon for not allowing the Blackberry Kindle App to work in Canada yet).
The books are also, unfortunately, only available through Kindle. It is my hope that they will quickly be released to EPUB and opened up to far more ereading devices as I am now DYING to get my hands on them!