A half-dozen authors who have collectively sold more than 10 million books have signed on to contribute to Voyagers, a multi-platform, middle-grade series from Random House Children’s Books in partnership with 42 Entertainment’s new venture, Animal Repair Shop. The six-book series kicks off in July 2015 with D.J. MacHale’s Project Alpha, which will be followed – on an accelerated publishing schedule over the 12 months – by novels by Robin Wasserman, Patrick Carman, Kekla Magoon, Jeanne DuPrau, and Wendy Mass.
Voyagers was developed by author and multimedia pioneer Patrick Carman, creator of Skeleton Creek, a hybrid of books and videos. V-p and publishing director Mallory Loehr acquired world rights to the series from Carman. Michelle H. Nagler, associate publishing director, will edit the books, which follow kids’ intergalactic missions to find one of six essential elements that, when properly combined, will create a new power source to save the planet. The elements are scattered across mysterious planets, and only a spaceship piloted by children can reach them and return to earth safely.
The series’ immersive digital component allows readers to join the Voyagers’ crew and become part of the narrative via their mobile devices. Codes and clues hidden throughout the books will unlock games, puzzles, and videos, with a new story threading online. Animal Repair Shop will build and roll out the digital universe.
“This is a one-of-a-kind project for Random House Children’s Books, and to bring it to market with Susan Bonds [42 Entertainment cofounder and CEO] and her team couldn’t be more perfect,” said Barbara Marcus, president and publisher, in a statement. “We searched for a team of authors and partners who could create an engaging series for young readers that would be both educational and completely entertaining in print and digitally. We believe we have such a series in Voyagers.”
Nagler expressed enthusiasm for the contributing authors’ diverse writing talents and the series’ expansive reach. “Each author on the team brings a unique strength to the series, together offering kids all the very best elements of sci-fi, mystery, and action-adventure,” she said. “The books and digital experience are so seamlessly integrated, we know gamers and readers alike will be immediately drawn into both, and they won’t have to wait more than just a few months to get their hands on the next installment.”