The You Wouldn’t Want to Be books are published by the Salariya imprint Book House in the UK and by Scholastic in the US. They are written in the first person, drawing the reader into the story and the often grisly, blood-stained historical periods in which the books are set.
The Manchester Evening News called this series ‘a fascinating full-on colour weapon in the battle to get kids to remember historical facts’. Educator, blogger and reading advocate Keith Schoch says that David Antram’s ‘lively, hysterical cartoons (very reminiscent of Mad magazine) give the text a comic book feel, and every page is packed with well-researched facts…’.
Currently in development, the website will feature a feast of gory information about the books and links to where the UK and US editions can be purchased, as well as fantastic extra content.
There will be a variety of free teaching resources, such as activity sheets and 12 plays themed around specific titles in the series for use in classrooms, alongside web pages stuffed with humour, foul facts, interviews with the authors and artists and a blog where the latest news about the series can be located.
The site will also host updated, hi-def, smartphone-ready versions of the four popular free web books: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Gladiator! You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy!, You Wouldn’t Want to Be A Polar Explorer! and You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Whaling Ship Essex! These interactive web books are brimming with fascinating information, pop-up speech bubbles, illustrations and links to further educational resources.
There will also be a page where teachers and event organisers can learn about the brand new You Wouldn’t Want to Be in the Great Fire of London! one-man show performed by acclaimed actor Marcus Dilly, including details about getting in touch to book a performance at a school or other venue.
The website has been conceived as a one-stop shop for all things You Wouldn’t Want to be… and will open children’s imaginations to the excitement and drama of history… but not as you know it!