The article "Scholastic Plans to Put Its Branding Iron on a Successor to Harry Potter " at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/18/books/18scho.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&ore... mentions several things that I believe are of interest to OLGA members.A For example, it says that
Called "The 39 Clues," this series will feature 10 books aEU" the first of which is to go on sale next September aEU" as well as related Web-based games, collectors' cards and cash prizes.A The project demonstrates Scholastic's acknowledgment that as much as the publisher heralded the renewed interest in reading represented by the Harry Potter books, many children are now as transfixed by Internet and video games as they are by reading.
Also, the article goes on to say that these books will be aimed at children of ages 8 to 12, who of course are very young and impressionable at that age.A In addition, it say that
An online game will allow readers to search for the 39 clues themselves, while solving puzzles and playing mini-games that will be refreshed daily. Mr. Levithan said the site would include blogs written from the points of view of characters, and maps, treasure hunts and videos, many with historical and geographical content.
Each book will come with six collectors' cards that can be used to find further clues in the online game. Players can also win cash and other prizes.
Note that they have noble intentions such as shown by the statements
Jesse Soleil, director of the Lab for Informal Learning, a research group within Scholastic that has been developing new projects, said many gamers were already avid readers. But for those who aren't, he said, the series is "about living where these kids are, and even if they are reading the books for information for the game, hopefully they will get some entertainment, and it will get them into reading."
As for whether attaching the books to an Internet game could help recruit new readers, he said: "Some kids are always going to prefer games over books. But if you can even reach a few of those kids and give them an experience with a novel that makes them think, 'Hey, reading can be another way to have an adventure,' then that's great. Then I've done my job."
If it helps get more children into reading, then I applaud the effort in that respect.A However I, as well as I am sure many of you reading this, am concerned about the potential impact of the Web-based games component on certain susceptible young children.A Nonetheless, I hope that these associated on-line games will be created to have high educational potential and low addictive potential.
- John O.
[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)