What a day! Sunday, I spent seven hours peddling my book to a fantastic crowd of book lovers in Toronto. Located in a section called Writer’s Block, I had my own booth set up where I was able to meet and chat with kids, parents, and teachers who dropped by to check out what Danny in a Newfangled World is all about.
I am always happy to see my book carried off by a young reader, parent, or teacher. It means more kids will have the opportunity to enjoy this crazy new story and potentially share it with others. There is no better way to increase the popularity of a kids’ book than through word of mouth by someone who really loved it.
Although a lot of visitors to my booth chose not to purchase my book, I appreciate that they now know about it. Certainly, there was no shortage of interest over the theme of the story and hopefully, they’ll remember Danny Lenesky come Christmas time when moms and dads are looking for a unique literary gift to leave under the tree.
Unfortunately, some parents looked at the cover of my book and assumed the story is written in a way to encourage their kids to play video games. In fact, the opposite is true. Yes, the back cover says this book is for kids who would rather be playing video games (the truth hurts, but it’s still the truth). That’s what makes it so ironic. With so many parents and teachers struggling to find a book that can compete with the video game console or computer, this is a perfect option. It caters to every typical kids’ fascination with all things digital thereby encouraging them to pick up this book and read (rather than turn on the screen).
In reality, the story is actually quite metaphorical in its representation of the difficulties kids may face online. It touches upon such important internet issues as online predators and commercialism in a funky, zany, out-of-this-world story. Most kids will get to the end of the book, however, and not realize that there was a single lesson in the story. And, that’s the point. Who wants to be preached to? Not me. Not you. But, a really great kids’ story helps children to make better sense of their own lives and how they fit into the greater community without making it painfully obvious. So, let’s not pretend that the digital screen isn’t a huge, massive, ever-burgeoning part of our kids’ lives. It is and forever will be. Isn’t it time to find a way for the literary world to help them grapple with it?
Yup. Read my book.