|Before I had kids I wrote prose stories for adults, but after I had kids I started devising stories for them (amazing, isn't it?). The first one I did was Rustle's Christmas Adventure, with 25 chapters of fiction. That led to Christmas Countdown, 25 chapters of Christmas fact, and Easter Parade, 22 chapters in the same vein.
At that point, my wonderful editor at Avon Camelot, Gwen Montgomery, decided there were no more holidays that would support mass-market books, so we switched to countdowns of historical events. My first choice was the story of Apollo 11, in Countdown to the Moon - which was followed with a truly wonderful story, that of the Wright Brothers, in Countdown to Flight!
I thoroughly enjoyed these excusions into fact, but I couldn't keep my love of fiction under wraps, so I created the DNAgers series to combine the two. Since it involves 13-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, I asked my wife Terry to help me write these stories, which are set in actual historical periods.
So far so good. And then one day I got an email from a teacher complimenting Countdown to Flight!, and asking, just in passing, what I thought of the NASA web site.
What NASA web site?
Well, it turned out that NASA, aware that the hundredth anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight would be coming up in 2003, had checked out all the Wright Brothers books for kids and had chosen mine as the best of the bunch. They then built a study guide around Countdown to Flight! and taught it in selected schools. Once they had it the way they wanted it, they burned it to CD and sent it to science departments throughout America and Europe, then put it all on a web site. Several states and provinces adopted it into their curriculum. And I never knew a thing about it. (Here it is.)
Since then, I've gotten to be quite good friends with the people at NASA, and have participated in a number of their classroom chats. If you (or your son or daughter) hasn't read Countdown to Flight! in the classroom, you might want to order a copy here. And if you like it, you're welcome to try my other books, too.
|Countdown to Flight!||The DNAgers 1:
The Legend of the Crimson Gargoyle
|Countdown to the Moon||The DNAgers 2:
The Legend of Crossbones Key
|Christmas Countdown||Rustle's Christmas Adventure
(available here free December 1-25)
|The DNAgers is ©2013 Steve and Terry Englehart. Rustle's Christmas Adventure is ©2013 Steve Englehart. Art for Rustle's Christmas Adventure is ©2013 Joe Staton.|