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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Guest Post: The Adventurous Mailbox by Andrew Bliss

You have GOT to check this series out – I first learned of it through the outreach efforts of its marvelous creator, Andrew Bliss. It is an absolutely incredible idea and offers tremendous, mind- and world-expanding, possibilities for kids (of all ages). Take a look at his story, then at the series itself. And then tell me exactly how fantastic an idea it is… Oh, wait. You don’t have to. I realized it as soon as I saw the first offering. Now I’m just waiting for my toddler to get a teensy bit older, so I can sign her up! You’ll hear more from Andrew in the coming weeks/months (I hope!), as I’m looking to continue to spread the word about M.I.T.C.H. and The Adventurous Mailbox… Enjoy!

Inspiring Kids through Cultural Adventures: The Adventurous Mailbox

Eight years ago, I took my first trip to Thailand. It came four years into my now 12-year stint abroad. At that time, my niece and nephew back home in Cincinnati, Ohio were getting old enough to start reading books on their own. I hated not being there to watch them grow up in person, and I also remembered what it was like to grow up in the Midwest. I wanted to figure out a way to spend some quality time with them, as well as to bring the world to them since they weren’t able to go see it with their own eyes. On this trip to Thailand, then, I took them along with me in a way, trying to experience the culture through their young eyes. After my trip, I made a book for them about our adventure, containing tigers, monkeys, and really helpful monks in
fancy robes. Through the book, I tried to spark their interest in the world and in exploration itself. I also wanted them to know at an earlier age than I did that, in addition to their own, the world was full of rich cultures that they were welcome to partake in and learn from. The book, I am proud to say, still sits on the family mantle many years later.

A few years later, I reread the book during an annual visit home. I think it was my brother who suggested it would be great if a lot of kids could get books like this. The idea germinated for a while, went through many incarnations, and ultimately produced The Adventurous Mailbox – an adventure series that also introduces the cultures of the world.

Respecting the intellect of my young readers, the books I wrote contain a whole universe for them to get lost in. On one side you have M.I.T.C.H. and the Guardians, who fight to protect world cultural heritage in order to retain the wisdom and beauty that cultures around the world have produced. On the other, you have C.E.D.R.I.C. and its Erasers, who strive to rid the world of unnecessary cultural traditions to allow for the emergence of a singular, dominant culture and language.

At the center of this struggle are 12-year-old Crameye Junker, his family, and his best friend Neva – all central figures in M.I.T.C.H. Series One from The Adventurous Mailbox arrives in an exciting package from abroad and is written as Crameye’s personal narrative about what he experiences on his family’s international adventures. As this series starts, Crameye and his family are settling into Taiwan, where his father has just moved them to reestablish what
he calls their “home base”. From there, they are constantly flying out on the company jet to other countries, accompanying his father as he handles matters of great importance.

In each country, Crameye is able to interact with the local culture in a way that lets him get a deep understanding of the way people live. He also has many run-ins with mythological characters and historical figures as he tries to get himself out of trouble in each book. His family’s own mythology plays out over the first series and into the next, as he slowly learns about his father’s mysterious company and his own​ place in it. More, his “ridiculous life” and all it entails, including special talents and abilities all the people in his family have, becomes clearer and clearer.

The books are certainly adventurous, containing intrigue, fantasy, and mystery, but also give the reader a deep look into the way people around the world think and live their lives, as well as into the traditions their cultures have produced. That said, educational content in tempered with a great deal of humor and fun so that kids don’t even realize that they are learning.

In addition to the books, kids also receive a top-secret password they can use to join Crameye’s World, our online community for kids. Here, they can follow the characters’ blogs, chat in forums, win prizes, take on missions, and lots more. For teachers and parents wanting to make the experience even more educational, there are also 100s of lessons available for download in our Teacher’s Lounge.

Our company is now established in Tainan, Taiwan, and has an international team of artists, designers, and educators lending their skills and passion. Our collective mission is to inspire kids to embrace the world and the peoples in it, as well as to help them develop an international perspective at an early age.

Ready to inspire a kid to explore the world?
Visit our company website for printed versions of the books, or find our e-books on Amazon. You can also visit us on Facebook.

After his formative years in Cincinnati, OH, Andrew Bliss lived in Santa Fe and New Orleans before heading abroad. Taking the idea of slow travel a little too literally, he has settled for long stints in China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, as well as travelled extensively throughout Asia. Before launching The Adventurous Mailbox, he was a university lecturer, creative writer for a software company, editor and translator, and freelance writer. When not writing new books for his company, he travels as much as he can, studies languages, and binge watches the TV series he has missed while abroad whenever he can find them.

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