The electrifying fourth installment of Richard Paul Evan’s bestselling Michael Vey series, Michael Vey 4: Hunt for Jade Dragon, is now available! This time around, Michael and his friends must rescue a child prodigy, Jade Dragon, who is being held captive by the Elgen in their Taiwan Starxource plant. On radio this morning, Evan’s joined Glenn to discuss the new book and the importance of writing smart and exciting children’s books.
Hunt for Jade Dragon is part four of Evan’s seven-part series that has appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Glenn has talked about how much he and his son Raphe love reading this series, but there was a chance it would never make it to bookshelves.
“When you first started writing them… your main publisher turned it down and said it was too smart for kids. They wanted you to dumb it down,” Glenn said. “And I said, ‘No, no. I was just praying about how do we do smart books for kids. Don't dumb it down.’”
Additionally, Evans faced backlash because the series featured a male protagonist.
“Isn't that strange,” Evans asked. “If you look at Hunger Games, Divergent, Twilight, Frozen – when was the last time Disney had a male hero? It's like, really? Our boys don't need role models? And what shocked me is Michael is a good kid. He loves his mom. He doesn't have that swagger. He's humble.”
“Our boys are under attack,” he continued. “They're dropping out of school. They've stopped reading. The best letter I get - and I get this every single day - is: ‘You got my son to read. I can't believe it. He put away the video game. He's reading the book.’”
Glenn and Raphe enjoy this series because it forces the reader to think. As Glenn explained, they will dog ear pages and look things up while they are reading, which makes for a fun, interactive, and educational experience.
“We'll look things up. We'll go, ‘That can't be true.’ But you do the research… Some of the things are based on reality,” Glenn explained. “Your stories have such depth… You have messages of history, of science, of geography. It's everything.”
“The book actually won Science Book of the Year nationally two years ago,” Evans added. “There are really important messages… I think the legacy is it's going to empower a generation of youth that they can do more than they are, to not accept the status quo.”
Order your copy of Michael Vey 4 HERE.