If anyone's noticed an extra spring in my step or song on my lips in the past week or so, it's because I recently learned that Scholastic has licensed the paperback rights to Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow. It's going to be a school book!
Wow. I did not see that coming.
Scholastic Education will incorporate WHTTWOT into its Guided Reading Non-Fiction Focused educational collection, and also offer it through the usual school book clubs and fairs. Territories will include North America and several international markets. And they want to move pretty fast, with a tentative publishing date of this December.
After learning of the opportunity from my publisher Abrams, I spent a couple of days last week remastering more than 50 pages of artwork for Scholastic. Most of the changes are because Scholastic (quite reasonably) won't print on the different paper stocks we used to recreate my old-timey comic book inserts, so I digitally added a transparent yellow-brown pulpy texture to each page to mimic crummy paper (I created the texture by high-res scanning an actual blank sheet of 30-year-old pulp paper I had lying around). I also took the chance to fix a few text and art errors that've always nagged me.
When WHTTWOT came out, I often said I thought it'd be a great supplement to a school curriculum. My research was extensive, my facts and conclusions solid. I think I connected some novel historical dots. But I didn't really expect anyone to take me up on it, or have any idea how to make it happen. Now it has.
This is really just about the best, coolest outcome I can imagine for this book. Thanks to Scholastic, I will be warping--I mean informing and guiding--young minds around the world. I like to imagine WHTTWOT might hit the right kid at the right time to really make a difference in how they see the universe and their future in it, just as a few key books really made a difference in my life.
I'm never going to the Moon or Mars. But someday, some kid who reads my book might. What's better than that?
Ad astra per aspera!