With all the technology in classrooms these days, it makes one wonder where literacy is heading. Will our grandchildren’s grandchildren know what a library is? Will paperback books become obsolete, along with the DVD player and overhead projector? If you believe that computers will rule the world one day, and Skynet will launch an attack of terminators on Earth, then Bruno Stranges is your guy.
Bruno, Media Technology teacher at St. Mary Catholic Elementary School in Welland, Ontario, has been writing for 10 years, and already has five e-books published. These range from middle-grade to young-adult fiction, covering a variety of genres from fantasy to science fiction, humour, and horror. His sixth book, Nicky Ninja, is an interactive experience like nothing before: a picture-book designed for tablets, complete with motion graphics and music.
His book trailers, a concept unheard of five years ago, will entice you to read on. Bruno calls himself a storyteller rather than an author, and finds his inspiration in the classroom. “A lot of my ideas come from interacting with kids and picking their brains to find out what they are into and what their interests are,” says Bruno. Taking their reading style into consideration, he often writes a story with a specific student in mind.
His novel, Mickey Angie Lowe, is written from the perception of a multitasking young boy. Recognizing that some students have a difficult time sustaining attention through an entire novel, Bruno inserts interludes in his books to maintain interest. Jokes, riddles, music, “I Spy,” board games, and puzzles are strategically placed for those who don’t necessarily want to read a book from cover to cover.
Bruno, who always encourages his students to think outside the box, captures an audience with creative storylines and quirky characters. When writing Zombie Gang: Regeneration Earth, Bruno wouldn’t settle for just any standard zombie. He made his characters Zumans: part zombie, part human. Much like a teacher creating a back-to-school bulletin board, Enrico, one of the zombies, is desperate for a stapler to pin his flapping skin back onto his skull. In one word, Bruno’s style is clever.
Growing up, Bruno was a fan of classic writers like Judy Blume, but it was J.K. Rowling’s character development that captivated him most. Immersing himself in her novels, he rooted for the underdogs. Although J.K. Rowling inspired Bruno to write, his career in technology and media prompted him into the realm of e-books. Bruno, who is currently reading Dan Brown’s Inferno says, “I am amazed at the instantaneous gratification at your fingertips. You can press a word on the iPad and in a second retrieve a definition.”
Bruno wants his next novel to be more interactive and to include a web-hunt or research aspect; a concept that will surely set Bruno apart from the pack. Bruno surrounds himself with a great team, including an editor, copyeditor, e-reader formatter, and graphic designer/illustrator. He works closely with his graphic designer/illustrator, well aware that this relationship holds the key to bringing his stories to screen.
Bruno embraces technology whole-heartedly, using it to inspire children and young adults to read. We can’t avoid technology. So the question is: will you get on board or resist?
To read one of Bruno’s innovative e-books visit: brstranges.wix.com/brstrangesbooks.