New York, NY (July 13, 2009) - On September 8, 2009
, Penguin Young Readers Group will launch an experiential theatrical bus tour entitled "Escape to Araluen" based on John Flanagan’s bestselling children’s series, Ranger’s Apprentice. Timed to coincide with the publication of The Siege of Macindaw
, Book 6 (Philomel; on sale August 4, 2009), the authorless book tour will visit bookstores, schools and libraries across the country. To produce the most creative and authentic experience possible, Penguin partnered with celebrated children’s theater company, the Striking Viking Story Pirates. Based on The Ruins of Gorlan
, Book 1, "Escape to Araluen" consists of a series of interactive skits, aimed at children ages 8 and up, that introduce the series’ characters and plot to new audiences and bring to life favorite scenes for fans of the series.
Emily Romero, Vice President of Marketing, Penguin Young Readers Group said, "We wanted to create an "authorless tour" that would rival the popularity of John Flanagan’s 2008 U.S. tour. We’d seen impressive fan videos reenacting Ranger’s Apprentice scenes online and we thought, why don’t we reenact these scenes live? We also wanted the tour to visit cities and towns off the beaten path. By sending the actors in a tour bus, we’re able to visit places such as Millbrook, NY, Wichita, KS, and Edmond, OK."
Benjamin Salka, CEO of Story Pirates commented, "As an arts organization focused on making reading and writing fun, we were impressed by John Flanagan's almost magical ability to engross young readers with tales of adventure that, at their core, are lessons about the very process of learning. While Story Pirates is best known for taking stories written by elementary school-aged children and bringing them to life in a playful sketch comedy musical, the Ranger’s Apprentice series gave us a chance to create a darker and more sophisticated experience that would pull kids into the series and leave them wanting more."
"Escape to Araluen" will feature three actors who will travel across the country in the Ranger’s Apprentice tour bus, wrapped in art from books one and six. Fans can follow the actors’ adventures online via an interactive map that will feature videos from the road at www.rangersapprentice.com. Performances will include music, sound effects, prizes, an interactive apprentice selection ceremony, and an eight-foot tall villain. Each show will be followed by a booksigning by the actors where fans will receive a special "Escape from Araluen" stamp and Ranger pin.
ABOUT RANGER’S APPRENTICE:
A medieval fantasy series which began as stories written for author John Flanagan’s son, the Ranger’s Apprentice books follow the adventures of Will, a small and lively 15 year old boy living in medieval Castle Redmont. Rejected for training as a warrior-knight, Will is apprenticed instead to the Ranger Corps – a mysterious group who act as the King’s eyes and ears throughout the mythical world of Araluen and beyond its shores. The Rangers have always scared him in the past, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. What Will doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom, and the Rangers may be the only ones who can stop him.
Australian author John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series is an international bestseller and is available in 14 countries.
Penguin Group (USA)
is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Philomel, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Plume, Puffin Books, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson (FTSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO). Pearson is an international media company with market leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.
is a nationally respected arts and literacy organization founded in 2003 to celebrate the words and ideas of young people, to promote literacy as a vital part of early childhood education, and to preserve the spark of youthful creativity often lost in the transition to adulthood. The cornerstone of the company is the Play/Write Program, a series of creative writing and drama workshops that lead to a musical sketch comedy show acted by adults and comprised entirely of stories written by kids. The award winning show has been described as "Monty Python meets Schoolhouse Rock." Fans range from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who calls their work "literacy programming brought to life by world-class actors," to The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, who says, "What the Story Pirates are doing is helping America... It’s crazy entertaining." Based in New York, Story Pirates have grown to reach hundreds of thousands of children in over 100 schools across the country.