Book Trailer Premiere: The Magicians of Elephant County by Adam Perry

Adam Perry's The Magicians of Elephant County comes out on Tuesday! I'm sure you'll want to read it after watching its super book trailer. 

I wrote the words in purple, and Adam wrote the words in black. Thank you, Adam! 

The Magicians of Elephant County’s book trailer is super serious. Really. Just watch the first 15 seconds and you’ll see. It’s very dramatic. The trailer takes place after the events of the book, and Duncan and Emma have found themselves in a ton of trouble and have to explain what happened to the police. Just like the book, the trailer balances the serious events with lots of humor, and two very unreliable narrators. It was so much fun to shoot this trailer and the two actors really captured the spirit of the characters.

Duncan Reyes and Emma Gilbert are unlikely best friends. They met on the first day of kindergarten and Emma thought Duncan was annoying. Like siblings, they pick on each other, but there’s a deep affection between them. When Duncan first started doing magic, she thought his act was corny. But over time, he got really good and she began to practice and perform with him. Whatever you do, do not call her his assistance. They are co-magicians.

The illustrations in The Magicians of Elephant County represent files in a police evidence box. Each chapter is a different file, corresponding to something that took place in town, with Duncan and Emma’s alternating accounts. Sometimes their stories differ from each other, and you can choose to believe whichever one you want! I was lucky enough to get to do the illustrations for the book and did them all on an iPad. As a “peek behind the curtain”, I’ve been releasing a series of videos that show how I created them. When I was in school, I used to wonder how my favorite illustrators made their art, so I thought it would be fun to show young artists my process. 

School libraries are a second home. I went to a small private school and my mom was the librarian, so every day after school I would race through my homework and read books in the loft. I was the class clown, so my favorite book was Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes by Louis Sachar. I must have read that twenty times! Some of my other favorite authors are Judy Blume, Tomie dePaola, Jerry Spinelli (his book Jake and Lily was one of the inspirations for this book), Beverly Cleary, and Bill Myers.

Story is a lot like doing magic. You know things the reader doesn’t, and you can perform “sleight of hand” to lead them to believe one thing while something else is happening that they aren’t paying attention to. If you lose control, it’s easy for the trick to fall apart. But when it works, and you can deliver a surprise, it’s so much fun!

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about my favorite trick to perform! This is something I do on school visits: I bring an empty box and have two volunteers choose a page from two eighty-page notebooks. One notebook has an article of clothing written on each page, and one has names of different types of animals. After they pick (for instance, “Hawaiian skirt” and “lizard”) I explain that there are 6,400 possible combinations they could have chosen, and then pull a stuffed animal lizard wearing a Hawaiian skirt out of the box. How is it done? Can the box really fit 6,400 different stuffed animals? I can’t say. I’ve signed The Magician’s Code.

Look for The Magicians of Elephant County on October 9, 2018. 


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