There was never any intention to discuss this series straight out, but seeing as PW has featured it recently, and there is a growing demand in the States for the books, it’s only fair to explore the creativity and talent behind some of today’s newest Young Reader series.
Justin Somper, former children’s book publicist and publicity consultancy group owner, has made a huge slash (pun completely intended) with his debut series, Vampirates. These books bring about all the adventure and excitement imaginable with a daring combination of the world of fable and the realm of paranormal. While the YA and Romance world or following their regulated worlds of vampire folklore and Hollywood trends, children’s publishers have unleashed a hot ticket that blends Pirates of the Caribbean with the increasingly popular blood-sucking phenoms.
Enter the land of L.A.P.-Life After Potter. When Harry’s final adventure came out, the world was left with some great options (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Spiderwick Chronicles), but nothing seemed to fill that age-defying void.
(And yes, I am staunchly refusing to endorse, let alone mention the swill circling the book world that masquerades as a revolutionary vampire love story.)
So when the last book ended, and our days of roaming the halls of Hogwarts were final, many of us returned to the stuffy and structured world of adult fiction, with only an occasional glance back at the mystifying lands of magic and childhood mayhem.
But while we, the Lost Boys (and Girls, to be completely PC) grew up again, publishers didn’t let the Pans wander alone, with no stories to strike their fires of curiosity and creativity.
And while I enjoy my Three Cups of Tea and A Thousand Splendid Suns, there is something undeniably endearing and enjoyable about this realm of fantastical faith and magical imagination. Not to mention financially satisfying: while future sales are sure to drop or remain flat, PW acknowledges that, “children’s paperback is expected to be the strongest trade segment this year.”
So if you’ve an interest in returning to the unbound splendor of Neverland (no, not the Michael Jackson kind), then go back without shame. Because really, why should the little kids get all the fun?
If you had trouble understanding this post, perhaps it’s because “a child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.” (Groucho Marx)
**Some titles I’m looking forward to reading:
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, in which four adventurous children respond to the mysterious Mr. Benedict’s ad (“Are you a gifted child looking for Special Opportunities?”) and in turn attempt to save the world from subliminal messages and the quintessential evil-mastermind. (Little, Brown-2007)
- The Time Travelers by Linda Buckley-Archer, featuring 21st-century time-travel victims, Peter Schock and Kate Dyer, who find themselves trapped in 18th-century London. (S&S-2007)
- The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, which follows a series of magical mysteries, starring Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm, and detectives in this excitingly magical land. (Amulet-2007)