Mildura author Phil Kettle has released his new children’s book series ‘Kidz Rule’ and it has been finding a home in primary school libraries around the nation.
The full series comprises 14 books that revolve around the friendships of the main characters and the adventures they have together and is considered perfect for kids from Grades Three through Five.
“I’m so lucky to be able to write for young people. They are our future and if this series and my previous books can get them excited about reading, which in turn gets them excited about education, it makes me very happy,” Phil said.
“They’re doing very well at this stage, they’re perfect for the classroom and are being purchased as a package by primary schools.
“After that they will go on sale in bookstores so kids or parents can just go and grab them.”
Phil has written multiple successful children’s series, with ‘Kidz Rule’ being a follow-up to his previous ‘Boys Rule’ and ‘Girls Rock’ books, which sold over 1.5 million copies.
Before that, he wrote the well-known ‘Too Cool’ series.
The skilled author has now had around 220 books published in total, but while he is happy with the success, the opportunity to help kids learn is his main passion and motivator.
“I don’t think about the number of books I’ve published really. I’m extremely privileged to be able to do what I do and being able to get kids into reading is what I find rewarding,” Phil said.
“The emails and letters I’ll get from teachers or parents saying thank you my son, daughter or students have read your books and they’re now excited about reading…that’s what makes me feel good.
“I’m very excited about this series. I’ve written it in first person which allows the student or reader to become those characters, and I’ve tried to write unpredictable stories, which kids really love.”
While Phil has thoroughly enjoyed his profession, he admits that completing and publishing a novel may be harder now than ever.
This is partly due to the current political climate of many readers, as seen with the recent Dr Seuss controversy where the legendary writer’s books have been pulled from shelves due to imagery that may be perceived as racist.
“You do have to think twice or maybe three times now when writing books. You need to make sure there’s nothing that may be perceived as ignorant in there but I think it’s going a little bit over the top now. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” Phil said.
“The Dr Seuss stuff, it’s a bit ridiculous and it’s concerning that it’s happening. I believe in political correctness and that there are things we could do 20 years ago that we can’t do now, but those books are written for children and aren’t setting any negative habits for the kids.”
While those recent events may be daunting for authors around the globe, Phil believes that, as long as teachers and parents set the right examples for kids, the reading of all kinds of books can be enjoyed.
“Our job as educators, as writers, as parents, is to get our children to go from being reluctant readers to being developed readers,” he said.
“Good reading habits and thought processes for students don’t just develop at school, they start at home too.”
Phil’s ‘Kidz Rule’ series will hit shelves soon, but if you would like to order the novels, visit www.matildaeducation.com.au/pages/kidsrule.