Yesterday while on the treadmill, a news item about National Geographic Kids Books caught my eye. This fall they are launching a new imprint – Under the Stars. Unlike other National Geographic offerings, this imprint will be fiction.
That’s right – fiction!
The audience is middle grade readers, aged 8 to 12, and the plan is to launch one series per year. Admittedly, that tid bit caught my attention to and not really in a good way. One series per year? Can’t National Geographic do better than that?
Once I got off the treadmill, I quit jumping to conclusions and started poking around. Now I can see why the new offerings will come one series at a time. This is way more than a series of print books.
The first to launch will be Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit. Trueit has over 100 titles, both ficiton and nonfiction to her credit. She also worked as a weather forecaster so she has a strong science background in addition to her abilities as a writer. You can sample the first chapter of the book here through the web page. Read over this page and you’ll see why National G is only releasing one series a year.
In addition to the books, there will be a variety of “digital extensions.” These include games, videos and segments that explain more about the science to young readers. And it is the science that this series is all about as it pulls in technology, geography and archaeology. This is the kind of book my own son would have devoured with missions, code-breaking and exploration. It also looks like it will fit into the mission of the Society in furthering exploration and education.
As a writer, I have to admit that I’m a little envious. As a reader? I’m eager to read beyond chapter 1.