October 8, 2009

Here come The Vileburgers. Genies they are, geniuses they're not.

According to Kirkus, The Vileburgers is something like "City Slickers meets Ghostbusters" with an outcome that's "enjoyably ridiculous."
      Bookwire, on the other hand, describes this new KBN action novel as "replete with elements of magic, humor and wit" and categorizes it as a "new Halloween classic ... imaginative adventure ... hilarious cast." We of course appreciate their enthusiasm.
     But the movie-style criticism from these reviewers is not entirely accidental. Vileburgers was deliberately written by the author in "scenes" rather than traditional book "chapters," and was written as well in the present tense to add additional immediacy and a certain live quality to the story – just like the experience of sitting in a "movie."
     That also makes it the perfect novel for teachers to use with the literacy development practice known as Readers Theater. So when you locate and download The Vileburgers from its location in the KBN Action Books category you'll also find a very complete series of lesson plans featuring Readers Theater.
     Published by KBN here in three episodes, we hope The Vileburgers adds extra fun to your October!

KBN introduces The Wizard of Oz.

Just like KBN today the Wizard of Oz represents a new direction for its time in children's literature.
    When L. Frank Baum first wrote and published the Wizard of Oz in 1900 he wanted to move the genre forward – to a new generation of characters and themes, and away from the continuous threats to children that characterized so many of the stories and fables and fairy tales written by Anderson and the aptly-named Grimm.
     When children read out of pleasure rather than fear, they enjoy the experience more, they read more, and ultimately they learn to read better.
     While the motion picture made from the Baum Oz stories is certainly a classic in its own right, the wit and charm of the original novel can't be completely translated to celluloid. The complexity of the characters, the surprising ideas and amusing sophistication of the narrative are simply exceptional and still a pleasure today for readers of all ages.
     Republishing the work here in five smaller, episodic volumes, we are very pleased to showcase The Wizard of Oz as one of the premiere titles in the KBN classic books section.
     Just print and read Volume I – and you'll just have to read the rest. Otherwise how will you know if Dorothy ever gets back to Kansas?