How We Got Our Kids to Read a Book

If your kids are like ours, the only thing they want to do is play. Play outside; play with each other, play online or on their phones and game consoles. They just were not readers. They just wanted to run, play, eat and sleep. Typical boys!

If your kids are like ours, the only thing they want to do is play. Play outside; play with each other, play online or on their phones and game consoles.

And if you are typical parents like us you desperately want them to do well and be happy, so combined with jobs, mortgages, relationships, and looking after kids it’s a double time, hectic life.

'For young reader, this rapidly evolving story, energetic writing and original themes sustain the narrative, for daring beginning to climactic end.'
Like many parents we read to the kids before bedtime or encouraged them to read for themselves. We read them stories by great authors like C.S. Lewis, ‘Chronicles of Narnia’; Emily Rhoda’s ‘Deltora Quests’ (the box set), J. R. R Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit, The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and a host of others.   

Bottom line, it seemed to make little difference. They just were not readers. They just wanted to run, play, eat and sleep. Typical boys!

But here is the kicker. Our boys loved fantasy. They played a game they called Mixed-up Made-up. Basically, it’s a game of pretend. They talked about the plots, scenes and roles at school, and when they got home they made costumes and props and played out their make believe adventures for hours.

So we got involved; not so far as playing, but in talking about the stories and the people in them. Under the instruction of our boys, my wife made an array of costumes from Greek mythology, space heroes, wizards, and monsters. I helped then make swords, light sabres and staffs, bows and arrows and sling shots, which we were told were crucial to a particular game we honestly didn’t quite understand.

Now you are probably thinking how did all this get them to read? Well it inspired me to write a fantasy adventure novel. Maybe I was influenced by all the books we read to the kids, but I tried to write something totally unique, with new characters and Australian themes.

I wrote a book about boys, their adventures, and the things in their lives they were interested in. I printed two pages per sheet on the home printer, which incorporated the kid’s illustrations throughout the chapters. I guillotined them into single pages and bound the whole thing with glue. And guess what? They read it! And, not only did they read it; they went outside and re-enacted the stories, even quoting the characters in the book word for word.

That was in 2006. Since then I’ve written two sequels, which bring the whole series of adventures to their final conclusion. But let me say this. Kids can be brutally honest, and it can be very confronting to have kids as critics, especially if you write for a living as I do. I’m a corporate writer, but writing a novel, a kid’s novel, is nothing like writing press releases, marketing documents or ministerial briefings.

Here we are, nine years and twenty edits later, it’s now 2015 and I’m launching the first one of the three novels, ‘The World Without—Last Days of the Koonung’ a book by Glenn Ric.

The story is set in Melbourne, on the edge of the city where urban sprawl meets native bushland. Persuaded by Adam’s older brother Mason, Adam and Tom climb the gigantic tree that grows in the bush of Edgars Valley. Unknowingly they cross the Gateway into the fourth dimension, ‘The World Without’, a beautiful place where the power of life is richer and greater than anything that exists in our world.

However, a decade’s long conflict rages between the long-suffering Marou and the tormented Fras who were recreated as lesser beings during the Diminishing, a catastrophic event brought on by Adam and Mason’s father when he was a boy. The Fras see him as the Destroyer of their world because the Diminishing destroyed their home and altered all life in the ‘World Without’ leaving the Fras deformed and the Marou barren of children. The Marou are steadfast and face their fate in the hope of being restored to their former selves. The Fras are filled with hate and seek revenge against the Marou, the boys and their father.

In Part 1, ‘Last Days of the Koonung’, Adam and Tom discover the power of this new world and learn that the Fras have found one of the Seven Life Elements lost in the Diminishing. The Elements imbue extraordinary power upon the holder. The Marou seek the Elements in the hope of being restored. However, the Fras are intent on regaining the Elements to exact their revenge against the Destroyer and his family. Through fate and circumstance, the boys help the Marou in their quest to overcome the Fras before they use the power of the Element to destroy their world.

The book is published by GRS Communications, having been reviewed by a professional children’s book assessor and edited by a professional editor, both of whom have been invaluable to me.

So if you have kids between the ages of 8 and 14, ‘The World Without – Last Days of the Koonungmay capture their interest. It’s written for them, so I hope it encourages them to keep reading,  imagining and developing their own creativity.

Low cost, ebooks can be found by Googling the title; iBooks, Smashwords, Google Play and Amazon. Paperbacks can be purchased through GRS Communications or Lulu publishing.

Let me know what your kids think by posting comments on the Amazon or Smashwords websites. It will help in fine tuning the next two installments ‘A land in Peril’ and ‘Rise of the Fras’.


About the author:

Glenn Schaube (Pen name Glenn Ric) is an established writer and author of corporate and government documents and publications. He is the proprietor of GRS Communications a boutique a multi-award winning public relations and marketing communications agency.

‘The World Without—Last Days of the Koonung’ was inspired by the games of his children, and events of his own childhood while playing by the local Koonung Creek in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Glenn set out to write one book involving activities, games and events that occupied the lives of his children in the hope of inspiring them to read.

‘Last Days of the Koonung’ is first instalment of the ‘World Without’ trilogy involving:

‘The World Without—Last days of the Koonung

‘The World Without—A land in peril’

‘The World Without—Rise of the Fras

Media contact:

Glenn Schaube P. +61  436 320 151; +61 3 9478 5224, E:

For media review eBook copies are available on Smashwords - insert the following coupon code CP89E for a free copy.


Categories: Books, Parenting, Public Education, Education

Tags: adventrure books, books for young readers, fantasy, good books, young readers

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