A new book has been released by Sudden Industries. The title is decidedly odd, but I’m inclined to forgive them given that it’s aimed to encourage boys aged 5-8 years old to get reading. It seems that at that age, they’re quite reluctant to do so. In my day, it would have been a scuff round the ear and bed with no supper if I refused to read my copy of A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens on a nightly basis.
New York, NY, October 1, 2013: Sudden Industries today announced the release of Zane and the Steampunk Riders: Perfume Bandits, its first title in a series of western steampunk stories targeting hard to reach reluctant boy readers. The eBook, set in a Jules Verne-esque Wild West landscape, follows a band of heroic young steampunks in a fun, fast-paced and gadget-filled adventure story. Sudden Industries developed the series with writers Rick Siggelkow, co-creator of Shining Times Station and Laura MacDonald (Curse of the Narrows) after determining that the parents of young boys were having a hard time finding books that engaged their sons.
Sudden Industries, long recognized for their successful work with leading children and education brands including Nick Jr., Poptropica, Funbrain and Sparknotes, created Zane and the Steampunk Riders: Perfume Bandits to appeal to boys aged 5-8, an audience that has traditionally resisted reading.
“The 2010 Center for Education studies show that boys’ literacy skills lag behind those of girls,” said Sudden Industries CEO, Bob Holmes, whose own son Zane is named after the famed western writer, Zane Grey. Holmes saw an opportunity in mixing western stories with the Victorian steampunk technology of Jules Verne. “The west is big part of the American mythology, and I wanted to make sure those stories weren’t lost for younger generations. We thought the best way to do that is to provide boys with access to a wild new world that encourages reading as an adventure.”
Zane and the Steampunk Riders: Perfume Bandits is based on a story developed by Rick Siggelkow, the co-creator of Shining Times Station, the hit children’s series that introduced Thomas the Tank Engine to millions of children worldwide. The eBook was written by Laura MacDonald and illustrated by Bob Holmes. It follows 10-year-old Zane, his little sister Pepper Smithereens, inventor genius Cisco, and Zane’s hero, Sheriff Deputy, as they thwart the villainous Bad Bart and his evil pig sidekick, Smedley P. Blatz from robbing the noon stagecoach by using their wits and a wide variety of bizarre western steampunk gadgets.
“We know from our experience in developing other children’s properties that boys are always attracted to titles with plenty of action, humor, absurdity and heroism”, said Rick Siggelkow. “Zane and the Steampunk Riders: Perfume Bandits offers all that plus a bunch of cool inventions. What more could a boy want?”
Zane and the Steampunk Riders: Perfume Bandits is available for Apple and Android eBook readers as well as Amazon’s Kindle. For more information about Perfume Bandits and other products featuring Zane and the Steampunk Riders, visit http://www.steampunkriders.com.
About Sudden: Sudden Industries has spent the last 17 years helping large entertainment and media brands tell their digital stories. As digital storytellers, Sudden is platform agnostic, providing award-winning solutions for web, mobile, games, animation, print and television. Based out of New York City, Sudden has provided strategic, creative and technology solutions for a wide variety of brands including Nickelodeon, Poptropica, Funbrain, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike TV, Sparknotes, Barnes & Noble and NBC Universal. For more information, please visit http://www.suddenindustries.com.