Attending the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s S.H.O.T. Show in Las Vegas, children’s book author K.J. Houtman is feeling the love. “The industry is hungry for positive messages with kids about the outdoors—including using guns in a safe, fun and ethical way,” shared Houtman. “So much of today’s news is about a catastrophe, the bad stuff that makes headlines. It’s a shame that it isn’t news when a family shares a day at the range or a girl completes her Firearm’s Safety Training program or a young man enjoys his first hunting trip afield.” Houtman claims it is a life-changing moment for many outdoor families as their kids grow up.
That is part of the story line in the fifth book in the popular chapter books that highlight the life of Gus Roberts, who turns 12 in Born to be Wild. Released two months ago (November 2012), Houtman targets eight to 12-year-old readers in her books with outdoor stories that embrace fishing, camping and hunting.
The series starts with book number one, A Whirlwind Opener. Each story (currently five are available) builds on the other as kids get to know Gus and his outdoor-oriented lifestyle. Gus plans his free time to enjoy the outdoors—and he is competitive. He wants to succeed and show others how to achieve success, too. Elementary and middle school readers enjoy the books where adventures unfold alongside the outdoor experiences. Getting a new shotgun—a 20-gauge Beretta Silver Pigeon, no less—is the highlight of his important birthday.
“I’ve talked to a lot of families about kids turning 12, and I can tell you most people look back on that significant birthday and point to a firearm as part of their rite of passage,” continued Houtman. Kids love the fast, page-turning adventure stories where teens and pre-teens have autonomy to enjoy the outdoors without hovering moms and dads. Parents appreciate a positive message that embraces the great outdoors and encourages kids to turn off the television and go outside and have fun.
As a member of Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Southeast Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) and Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) Houtman has enjoyed a career in outdoor media. Duck, Duck Deuce, the fourth book in the series, received Awards-in-Craft in the book category at the 2012 AGLOW conference.
Available at the world’s largest bookseller—Amazon.com—as both paperbacks and e-books, suggested retail ranges between $10 to $11 in print and under $3.50 for e-books. Some independent bookstores, gift shops and sporting goods retailers carry them as well as online at http://shop.fishonkidsbooks.com/.
For more information check out fishonkidsbooks.com or contact K.J. Houtman at (612) 710-5584, or email: info (at) fishonkidsbooks (dot) com.
Image courtesy Fish On Kids Books