A great story. Remember that feeling you get when you're in the middle of a great story... when all the forces of evil are bearing down on the main character, and you know what he (or she) should do, but he's not quite ready to make the right choice. Or when things are so amazingly unjust that the character should just break down and lose it all, but she (or he) rises above it and acts in a way that's completely surprising and wonderful. A great story has power and it's one of the joys of childhood.
But these days, kids have so many other options (video games, web sites) that capture their attention. Things that take so much less effort than reading. Still reading can be great, if the kids find the stories they like... or of authors/artists started acknowledging that we now live in a multimedia-driven world.
What if we start COMBINING their great stories with multimedia, videogames. Who knows what will happen? Will more kids start choosing to read? Will the definition of reading itself change? A whole new world of possibilities is suddenly open with e-books.
I started the site to help promote the power of "story." When today's parents were kids, "story" meant written words on paper. That definition of "story" may fade away. What will replace it? Video games and movies? Is that all we've got? Or can we begin to see the value of stories created with words and start to think about how we can create a new genre of books that appeal to kids as much as other digital option options. E-books can take us to this new level because they combine words with video, motion, sound, animation, interactivity... and who knows what else?
I loved to read when I was a kid. But if I had a Wii and a DS and was a member of an online-gamified-web-community... would I want to sit down with a dingy paper book? Maybe not. So fine. Kids vote for what they like with their attention spans. They're giving more attention to digital activities than reading. Maybe we shouldn't fight it. Maybe we should move "stories" and "storytelling" and "reading" into the place where they already are... the digital world. That's the vision of Beth Bacon and the reason I started this site. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your perspective on kids, reading, and e-books.