Boys and books. Sometimes it’s a natural pairing, and sometimes it’s like pulling teeth.
No one knows this better than veteran award-winning classroom teacher Arthur Brood, otherwise known as “Author Arthur,” who takes the bull by the horns and deliberately pens books for the underserved market of reluctant boy readers ages 8 to 12.
In his latest book, a sequel to his popular juvenile historical fiction book titled The Mud Hole, Brood tells the entertaining story of how eleven-year-old Henry finds himself in the surprising role of hero one winter’s day.
The Snow Car begins on a winter morning in 1912, with fifth grader Henry driving himself and his brother Robert to school in the family’s Ford Model T. The cow on their family farm has escaped, and if the boys had walked to school, they would have been late.
Alas, the winter weather causes all kinds of problems for the novice driver, who drops off a number of his classmates on the way home, since no one wants to walk in the wet snow falling from the sky.
As additional adventures occur, many centered around the family’s Ford Model T, Henry explores some unique ways to keep the car running both in and on the snow. In the process, he goes from a mischievous boy full of creative ideas to town hero when he takes a courageous journey to get medicine for his father and others who come down with the deadly disease called influenza.
“Author Arthur” explains that his story touches on automobile history and winter driving in the early days of automobile transportation. Each chapter ends with a short “Did You Know?” fact relating to the story, with interesting information about early cars and road conditions in the early 1900s. For one thing, the first automobiles weren’t made to drive in wet or cold weather, most didn’t come with wipers, and there was no such thing as snow tires.
Brood comments, “As a teacher, I saw many boys who were reluctant readers and had difficulty finding fiction books they enjoyed. They were often drawn to books that were inappropriate for their age or contained questionable content. I felt I could write fiction books on car themes that would draw these reluctant readers into reading and provide wholesome content at the same time.”
The chapters in The Snow Car are deliberately short to help keep the attention span of readers, and the book can be used in classroom settings and out.
“The Snow Car is a great story for kids. Not only do they get a story, but they learn facts about Model T cars and what life was like for boys back in 1912. The book held my interest and is a page turner towards the end.” ~ Roxie Arnott, fourth grade teacher, Ontonagon Area Schools
AUTHOR: “Author Arthur” is an author and educator with twenty-five years of experience as an elementary teacher. He is the winner of the 2015 McConnell History Educator Award. As an educator, he focuses his writing on reluctant boy readers by writing about cars, yet he appeals to a wider audience by blending historical fiction with supporting facts. The author of The Mud Hole and its sequel The Snow Car, he has been a frequent guest of the ASK (Authors, Specialist, Knowledge) program with Macomb Intermediate School District since 2009. This interactive TV format allows him to interact and respond to questions from hundreds of students each year. He also shares his passion and knowledge about early automobile history through school assemblies in which he uses a mini Model T and portrays Henry Ford to share about the assembly line. “Author Arthur” resides in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. To learn more, visit his website at www.arthurbrood.com.