Minneapolis-based Scarletta Press announces that it will launch a new children’s book line by acquiring Lost in Lexicon: an Adventure in Words and Numbers by Pendred Noyce. A self-published literary fantasy for readers ages 9-12, "Lost in Lexicon" tells the story of two cousins, Ivan and Daphne, on a quest to find lost children in a world of words and numbers running wild. “It’s just the combination of braininess, humor, and adventure we were looking for to start our new line,” says Ian Graham Leask, Scarletta’s publisher.
|Look for this cover AUGUST 2011|
With four books planned, the Lexicon series will serve as cornerstone of Scarletta’s new line of intellectually stimulating books for strong and thoughtful readers. “We want to publish fiction that ‘writes up’ to kids, treating them as young intellectuals who enjoy thinking,” says Leask. "Our books will be fun, adventurous, and suspenseful, but their vocabulary and storylines will be designed to challenge young readers in the right way.”
Founded in 2005, Scarletta Press has gained a reputation as a publisher of high quality literary fiction and non-fiction. Its adult books have won or been nominated for a number of literary awards.
Pendred Noyce, author of "Lost in Lexicon," is a Massachusetts physician, education reformer, and mother of five. She is active in educational philanthropy as a trustee of the Noyce Foundation, where she takes a special interest in mathematics and science education. Serving on the boards of multiple math and science-based education non-profits, she also chairs the board of the Libra Foundation in Maine and the Rennie Center for Education Policy Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Noyce wrote "Lost in Lexicon," her first book for children, as a gift for her son Damian’s ninth birthday. “I wanted to see if I could make middle school math and language concepts come alive in characters and villages. I had a lot of fun writing the book, but when my agent took it out to large publishers, they considered it too didactic and old-fashioned for today’s kids.” Convinced that the publishers were wrong, Noyce formed her own company, Tumblehome Press, and assembled her own editorial and artistic team. Illustrations by Joan Charles, a California artist, brought a sense of playful magic to the text.
According to ForeWord Book Reviews, “Lost in Lexicon breaks new ground in the adventure genre. This rollicking, often tongue-in-cheek novel will appeal to young readers who need a break from their computer games and long to journey into the woods of learning.”
When the book came out in October 2010, Noyce launched into a series of book signings, radio interviews, and public talks. She held Lexicon village events, where kids and parents together work their way through a series of interactive stations representing concepts from the book. “They find pi, invent metaphors, solve Tangram puzzles, construct words from Latin roots, and do mazes in mirrors,” says Noyce. “Like the book itself, I built the Lexicon village events to let kids and their parents interact around fun and important ideas.”
Noyce’s goal was to demonstrate that an enthusiastic market exists for children’s books that combine learning with adventure. She had it right when her book was selected for the Indie Next Kids List for Winter 2011. When her travels brought her to Minneapolis to appear on KFAI’s author show, “Write On! Radio,” she took the opportunity to meet with the leadership of Scarletta Press. “They immediately understood what I was trying to do and saw the potential of the Lexicon series,” says Noyce. “As for having my books help launch a line of books that respects kids’ intellect, I couldn’t be more delighted.”
The current edition of Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers can be purchased online through Barnes & Noble or Amazon, through the book website, as an e-book, or in selected bookstores. More info on "Lexicon," along with materials for teachers & book clubs, can be found online.