By Susan Carpenter
Los Angeles Times
August 26, 2012
Scholastic's newest multimedia adventure for middle-grade readers, "The Infinity Ring," launches Tuesday with "A Mutiny in Time." The new series follows three young characters who are tasked with traveling back through history in order to fix it and save the future.
"The Infinity Ring" can be enjoyed for the action and adventure in its printed pages. But readers who decide to continue the journey online can do so with the help of a map tucked into the front cover, which guides them through the tale as one of the main characters in a role-playing video game.
"It's a myth that kids are either readers or gamers. The truth is they're readers and gamers," said David Levithan, publisher and editorial director of Scholastic, which is launching the series with seven titles to start. The game is available as an app as well as via the Web.
"Unfortunately, a lot of kids today associate history with textbooks, which is a dry experience. We want this to be fun and fully immersive," said Levithan.
"Right now there are games where kids can go back in time and shoot things, but we wanted them to go back in time and walk around Paris at the time of the Revolution or walk around America during the War of 1812 and experience what it was like to interact with historical figures and be a part of history," he said.
Scholastic has partnered with six authors for the series, who were brought together for a two-day brainstorming retreat last year to shape the main characters and determine the places they'd go. "The Maze Runner" author James Dashner is penning the first book, which has the three kids preventing Christopher Columbus from being thrown overboard from his ship. Subsequent titles will be released every three or four months and bring the characters in contact with the Vikings, the Mayans and the forces behind the Underground Railroad, among other notables. Other contributing writers include Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann, Matt de la Peña, Jennifer A. Nielsen and Matthew Kirby.
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