Posts Tagged With: The Devils Trap

Author Visits For Schools And How to Approach The Reluctant Reader Creature

When it comes to school visits, I like to do things a little different. If you look at the picture below, which was taken  at Fulbright Junior High in Bentonville, Arkansas, you will notice some things are missing.

A Stage. A Microphone. A Huge Assembly of Students.

While working with small groups, 100 or less, requires me to repeat the same session 3-5 times each author visit, it’s worth the extra effort. I connect with students more effectively in this manner, allowing direct interaction. Kids are much less intimidated by their fellow students in small groups, allowing them to ask questions freely and join discussions. It gives kids the feeling of being included in the process instead of simply watching a show up on the stage.



Thinking back on my memories of being a young reluctant reader, I must warn you about something. There are certain students who require a different approach.

Some reluctant readers are mysterious creatures. Approach carefully, stealthily, or they will dash to the door!

I was one of those.

My only advice would be this. Do not come at them with books in your hands, offering something to read. This is the equivalent of Superman’s kryptonite. They will immediately make a speedy exit or simply push away each book you offer. Instead, pull out your bag of tricks and get your reluctant readers to help you. Kids want to feel important and be treated like adults. Give them that opportunity by asking for their advice. The next time you need to buy a gift for your niece/nephew/child, find one of your reluctant readers and ask what is one of their favorite movies or games for the purpose of choosing a gift for your family member. Use that information to search for a related book and then ask for their advice again, saying you would like to give your friend/family member a book as part of the gift. Since the reluctant reader suggested the movie or game, ask if they would read some of the book and give their opinion on your choice. It sounds like a lot of work but this is how you can help young students discover their specific combination of story requirements that may ultimately get them hooked on reading. At the very least, you have directly involved them in the process of choosing a book and made them feel important.


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Foreman School Visit

James visited Foreman recently and was delighted with how excited the students were about his books. It was a school visit that he will not forget. James was invited to eat with a few of the leaders of the reading counts program and enjoyed the meal and discussions.

“Foreman was great to me and I want to thank them for everything.” Lunch with the Author - Foreman

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Family Finds Todd’s Treasure!

“I want this treasure hunt to get kids out of the house and involved in history.”       __________Author James Babb

The treasure hunt is doing exactly that!


Family Solves Clues And Are First to Find Todd’s Treasure


Readers of Arkansas author James Babb’s historical fiction trilogy, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, THE DEVIL’S TRAP and THE DEVIL’S DEN, recently had the opportunity to go on a modern-day treasure hunt using clues from the story set near Fort Smith in 1881. The first to find the treasure could keep the items inside and sign the log, leaving the box for others to find. The little boy in THE DEVIL’S TRAP had hidden marbles, a necklace his father had worn, an arrowhead, a quartz crystal and several other items inside.

Bob Walter, from Batesville, and his granddaughter Ashlyn Latus, a first grader at Sequoyah Elementary in Russellville, used the clues from the books to successfully find the hidden treasure. According to Walters, he went through the books and marked everything he thought was a clue to the treasure location. Then he spent about a week researching Fort Smith and looking at old maps and historical accounts, trying to match clues to the ground. He said total research time was about two weeks.

Once in Fort Smith, the four generations of family – Walter’s mom, wife Kathy, daughter Sarah and her husband Robert Latus, and grandchildren Ashlyn and Zoey – spent several hours scouting out possible locations for the treasure. Once they had eliminated all areas but one, they spent about an hour searching for a particular match to an important clue. Walter said his granddaughter Ashlyn figured out the clue, and a short time later began to scream, “We found it! We found it!” In addition to the items from the story, Ashlyn Latus wins free autographed books, a free author visit from James Babb to her school, and a pizza party.

“I will always remember Ashlyn’s expression when she opened the box. It was a mixture of excitement, joy and happiness. She will not forget this experience, ever.”        ___________Bob Walter


Bob’s family will receive the prizes for being the first to find the treasure but the hunt is not over. Take your family on an adventure they will not soon forget. Go look for Todd’s Treasure.




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Trip to NYC And The Devil’s Backbone Wins Indie Award

New York City was awesome!


The streets were crowded but everyone was NICE


And getting awards for The Devil’s Backbone and The Devil’s Trap was the best feeling in the world!

James NGIndie book Award

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The Devil’s Trap New Middle Grade Novel Arkansas

Here it is! It’s release day for The Devil’s Trap.

Please take a look and help spread the word!

James needs your reviews on Amazon for this award-winning series.



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The Devil’s Trap Cover Reveal – April 17th

image_863386The second novel in this series, The Devil’s Trap, is in the editing process! The cover will be released on April 17th. The novel will come out this fall.

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