Have a reluctant reader at home? Best known for his Journals of Myrth* series, author Bill Allen takes a stab at the world of non-fantasy with his latest release: Orson Buggy's Lessons for Losers.
"It can be hard getting kids, especially boys, to read, at least when it comes to something longer than a tweet or a text message. A lot of authors try to overcome this (quite successfully) with "gross" boy humor--a lot of farting, belching, puking--all those nasty things young boys think are hilarious. When done well it can be a great way to break through to them. One of my good friends, Lisa Nardini, co-wrote an excellent book of this sort (The Underwear Dare), and I must confess, I'll be ecstatic if my book takes off half as well.
"But I take what I like to think is the "higher road" with my writing. I use a lot of word play and puns, throw in a heaping helping of sarcasm and snarkiness, and then sneak in some valuable lessons that every child should know. When it comes to humor, I never "write down" to kids. Occasionally adults question if the humor is too advanced for children, but I attribute this to the fact that adults just miss a lot, like the way they fail to hear ghosts in the closet or monsters under the bed. Children are way smarter than we give them credit for. I think they like the challenge of "witty" humor and focus harder on reading so they don't miss out on something funny."
Orson Buggy's Lessons for Losers is a laugh-out-loud glimpse into one boy’s struggle with the absurdity of starting seventh grade. Twelve-year-old Orson would have probably suffered every horse-and-buggy insult known to man if people would actually talk to him. Over the years he has acquired only a tiny group of friends. His uber-loser friends. The worst of the worst. Now he has the chance to start over at a new school, without any of his loser friends holding him back. If he can just keep people from finding out his name, he might have a shot at being normal for the first time in his life.
Why, then, within five minutes do people start thinking he’s some sort of jerk? And why, by the end of the day, is everyone convinced Orson is the biggest deranged psycho-killer to ever roam the halls of Hugh Morris Middle School? Orson’s about to learn that help comes from where he least expects it, and when it comes to friends, new isn’t necessarily better.
* Bill Allen's Journal of Myrth series, published by Bell Bridge Books, consists of the best-selling How to Slay a Dragon, How to Save a Kingdom (recently released) and How to Stop a Witch (due mid 2012). Find out more about his books at billallenbooks.com or visit him at facebook.com/BillAllenBooks.
How to Slay a Dragon (2011)
How to Save a Kingdom (2012)
How to Stop a Witch (due mid 2012)
Orson Buggy's Lessons for Losers (2012)Hanging by a Thread (coming in May)