Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Question: What is a “Vook”?

Answer/Quote: “There’s a new kind of young adult novel in town: the digi-novel or “vook” (video-book), which combines traditional print-bound text with Internet online components. Patrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek series is one such example of a “vook,” and it proved to be popular with the eighth-grade students we read it with this year.”

“To ‘read’ Skeleton Creek, readers must go back and forth between the book and the website. Carman has said in interviews that the idea behind the structure of the book/media hybrid was to create a ‘reading-plus experience’ to actively compel readers (especially resistant, adolescent male readers0 to read:

[Skeleton Creek] is probably the best attempt I can think of to give a young person a reason to want to read. They only have to read 20 or 30 pages and then they get to watch part of the story—and so that’s the idea, they go back and forth, and that’s why I structured it this way because I want, particularly that age group—5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th graders—to just be compelled to have to keep going. If you read the first 30 pages and watch the first video, it’s almost impossible not to keep going. Patrick Carman.

Comment: And in true movie fashion, a preview is presented on screen online. Clever idea. By the way, I’ve decided that the word of the year 2011 is “hybrid.” RayS.

Title: “ ‘What Is This Thing Called a Vook?’: Using Skeleton Creek to Transform Students’ Reading Experiences in (And Out Of) School.” Susan Groenke et al. “Off the Shelves.” Mark Letcher, ed. English Journal (January 2011), 105-108.

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