View Poll Results: Do you plan to purchase Secrets of the Alchemist Dar?

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  • Yes! On the day it is released, even if it means camping at my local bookstore.

    26 37.14%
  • Yes. As soon as I can just purchase it without waiting in line.

    34 48.57%
  • Eventually, but no rush.

    7 10.00%
  • Are you kidding? I'm staying as far away from it as possible.

    3 4.29%
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Thread: Secrets of the Alchemist Dar

  1. #11
    lucynymph's Avatar
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    >>>>>>>>>>des, i agree with you, wholeheartedly - my mother read 'william blake's, songs of innocence and experience" to my sister and I as young children...we were not 'baffled'...''where the wild things'' are is my three year old daughter's fav book and my fav "play" to act out with her - i loved it as well... so dig roald dahl, 3 year old's fav movie:

    http://chocolatefactorymovie.warnerbros.com/

    maybe depp will resurrect this tale for today's kids, the best treasure hunt ever- ms is Not a literary figure in terms of children's literature with att -intriguing, yes - but certainly Not like Norton Justers' "The Phantom Tollbooth"; reread that book over and over as a child>>>>>unlucky

    but please, as a mom of two young girls:
    if I and they had a choice between, "ATT,"certainly timely and somewhat engaging, or the plethora of authors classified as "children's literature,", i mean, come on, "black beauty," or att? "robinson's crusoe," or "att,"..., shakespeare or att, "the giving tree," or att?

    hey, my two year old daughter's current fav book is called "everyone poops," a new, japanese author - i highly recommend the book for, well, anyone...potty humour with a purpose....


    bronte


    side note: love tweleve and the ground that ms has broken with att, however, to compare it to children's literature? charles dickens' "a christmas carol?" well, that is just illogical.

    cudos to des and unlucky
    Deep in Blue Dog's eyes will always lurk the hopes and longings of a melancholy people, but, like the Cajuns, who always trained their eyes on the future, Blue Dog must move forward.
    ~George Rodrigue fr 'Blue Dog Man'

    He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
    ~Oscar Wilde

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    ~fr 'DAR' m.s

  2. #12
    Kiddieteacher is offline Getting the hang of it. Copper Kiddieteacher is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default Different points of view create different opinions....

    Geeeez...didn't mean to create a ruckus, but hear me out, and please don't banish me to the Hall of Shame.
    Skip to the last paragraph if you don't wish to hear my lecture on childrens literature. :P

    Kids that will read the 'classics' are not the children that I am referring to.
    I see what elementary kids check out...ATT is wonderful compared to much of the newer childrens 'literature' . Especially the stuff for early elementary is mostly garbage as far as literary value. I mean, come on...one of our most popular are the Captain Underpants series!

    I think those of you that have children (especially reluctant readers) will agree that ATT is a true treasure. And regardless of others opinions, I feel the illustrations are wonderful. (And I still like your artwork as well Dest...variety is the spice...) Kids become bored so easily...if you can find something...anything...to engage their minds, besides playing video games...then you have hit gold.

    Regarding the treasure hunt, sure if I were to create a hunt, I would do many things different (I have enjoyed reading the posts on that topic). But again, this is something that MS remembers from when he was a kid, tied to a book he read...which is why he did it. I introduced the book to my 4th and 5th graders just before school let out in May and they loved it! (I know, what a slacker librarian ....I hadn't heard of it before then).

    As far as the adults that wish to trash its literary value, again...do you have elementary age children, or are you basing your opinion on the reading habits of kids 20 - 30 years ago? If you do have elementary age children, are they spending their time reading, or watching TV ? If they are readers, how often are they reading the 'classics'? If you answered Yes to all of the above, HURRAY for you, but I assure you...your child is not the 'norm'.

    Anyway, my original post was simply trying to see how many of you 'old timers' will still be around if there is indeed another treasure hunt tied into the next book. There are so many intelligent, insightful and friendly people around here, I didn't want to be an 'outsider' for round two; as I assure you Rock Cut School in Illinois will be hunting in full force from day one for that one!
    Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
    Abraham Lincoln

  3. #13
    destructo is offline Banned Aquamarine destructo is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default Re: Different points of view create different opinions....

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddieteacher
    Geeeez...didn't mean to create a ruckus, but hear me out, and please don't banish me to the Hall of Shame.
    I only banish people who are vapid, not people who are articulate and passionate. You don't have to agree with me (most people don't!) you just have to be mostly polite and not back down!

    As you can tell, I like a good back and forth. .. there doesn't have to be a winner and you don't have to change the other person's mind... it's just a GREAT way to get your thoughts out there and to reaffirm what you believe.

    That's what's part of the fun of forums.... it can never really get personal and hurtful, because I'm some guy named "destructo" .... it gives us license to just interact ad hoc ... to say stuff that we think... be more real than we can be in the facade of day to day life.

    So don't stop posting...don't stop making a ruckus... that's what makes this place fun.

  4. #14
    Puzzlebug is offline Getting the hang of it. Copper Puzzlebug is an unknown quantity at this point
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    quote="Unlucky"]
    I still re-read my favorite "kids book" every couple of years, even though I'm at least 30 years beyond the target audience and don't have any kids around to read it to. That's "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster. The wordplay and puns are so much fun, whatever your age. Like the vehicle that only moves if you shut up because "It goes without saying".

    I love "The Phantom Tollbooth"! It is so rare to run into anyone who knows this book. Just remember to watch what you say, because you will have to eat your words!

    I do have to say, I agree with Destructo. No offense meant to Mr. Stadther, though the story is sweet in its intent, it isn't very well written. However, it is his skill at creating the puzzles that is most important here. The story is just a great way to present them.

    Where did the rumor come from that the next hunt will be international? I imagine that would be a logistical and legal nightmare. Can you imagine having to deal with several different governments? Yikes!
    "We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fab ulous ?' Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God."
    -Nelson Mandela

  5. #15
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    Well I sure as heck am going to buy the new book, no matter whether it is national, international, or not even a treasure hunt at all. I'm guessing (and halfheartedly hoping) that it is not a treasure hunt, merely because it's coming out next september, and unless he's been planning this for a lot longer than we know of, that's not enough time to really get a hunt all set up, as I heard it took him 8-25 years (don't ask me where) to set up the last one. There would be way too many problems in an international one, and making up yet another set of codes and clues and hiding them would be hard. IF he made the prizes smaller and the clues simpler, the first veterans from ATT to hear about it would solve it in a week, making its life span short, publicity bad, and profits worse. And now with all the fame from ATT, ten times as many people would participate from the get-go, making it get solved even faster. And another part of me says "heck, I just want a good fairy tale." ATT was not the best it could be because it was hiding clues and had to be twisted to fit it. I'd rather just have one clean of all form to be the best it could be, without having to lead you somewhere.

    I disagree with many of you, Des in particular-
    I believe it is not all about literature. This wasn't supposed to be a superbly written novel all about the woodland creatures, Zac, Ana, and Pook and their wonderful adventures. That's the type of book you read by yourself. It's a fairy tale. It's a book you read to or a sotry you tell to your kids, that isn't supposed to be as well written as Charles Dickens, it's supposed to be about learning from it, and sharing it by reading it together. Stadther didn't mean for ATT to be a novel, he wanted parents to read it to their kids, kids to read it to their parents, and for them all to learn to love each other, be brave, and not to be afraid of the dark. Thats what a fairy tale is, not a piece of literature, but a story, and a message. I believe this was the treasure that MS really wanted to be found. And I do hope some very lucky people have.


    ...
    ANd who could say no to the temptation of jewels, eh?
    Or am I just paranoid...

    *Of course*

  6. #16
    Merely Fun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by destructo
    ...

    The international bit scares me a bit... seeing how many wild goose chases I've gone on in the US.... I don't think a flight to another country is in the cards... and even if it is, the puzzles better be more creative, more diverse, and much more clear when solved. AND NO MORE ANAGRAMMING.
    I agree! I don't mind the idea of driving cross-country, but I really can't imagine going to say Europe or the Mid-east to chase my puzzle solution. And it doesn't seem like it would be very sporting, many people could not afford it.
    "Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."

  7. #17
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    If the next book *is* another treasure hunt, I'll only buy the book under 3 conditions:

    1. The hunt is *only* in the US

    2. If more than one prize, they are *truly* even spaced across the US

    3. The prizes are *truly* accessible to *everyone*, and not 3 feet down inside a freakin' unreachable slit-of-a-knothole only accessible to those who have a grabber tool or shop-vac!

    Seriously, this hunt sucked lemons! From the stories I've read, I'm glad I *didn't* solve one of the puzzles, travel to one of those trees, *knowing* the token was in there, only to walk away (kicking and screaming) empty-handed because I couldn't *reach* it! I'm glad others were able to get them, but I wouldn't have wasted my time, energy or money traveling to a token location, after getting turned off when learning the *truth*! I don't care if there was one in my own backyard, under these circumstances! "No digging or prying, just reach inside", my a$$!!!

    A 5th choice needs to be added to the poll:
    I'll decide after I read the rules!
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  8. #18
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    If this is going to be a "literary only" book... I don't think many people will waste their time.
    Well, I for one will buy the next book no matter what it is. Why?
    To sum it up, ATT has been a great experience for my family and we would want to collect them all (we hope there will be at least a trilogy, more would be better).

    My family has read and re-read ATT together several times. We have discussed it together more times than I can count. We have worked the puzzles together and recreated the solutions of others, more brilliant than ourselves. We've discussed the art work and used the illustrations as inspiration for our own art. We have researched the states and some of the parks where tokens have been found. We've often joked about the characters and daydreamed together about the types of treasure hunts we would make. This single book has taken us to places we never would have gone otherwise. It has taught us lessons, made us laugh, heightened our appreciation for God's creation, and helped to increase our imaginations... all that from the story line as well as the puzzles and illustrations. I guess we've always been a pretty close-knit family but this one book has increased our family bond so much more that it's worth far more to us than any of the prizes offered in the back of it.

    Okay, so maybe this book is not the best example of modern American literature for children (or maybe it is - ha!), and so what if it doesn't win a Newbery or Caldecot... It has won the hearts of my children, and therefore it has won my heart as well.

  9. #19
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    TIP for getting the most out of reading ATT with children:
    Use it as a literature-based unit study. You'd be surprised at how much "education" there is inside this little book.

    And let me tell you... "school" has never been so fun for them, or me either!!!

    Anyway, using ATT (along with a little help from the library and the internet) we have learned something from all of the following courses of study:
    Science
    Math
    Literature
    Arts/Crafts
    Logic
    Geography
    Geology
    Critical Thinking


    ... and not to mention ALL of the language-arts opportunities in the book (my kids are young enough that they are still "learning" this stuff):
    Reading
    Phonics
    Grammar
    Writing
    Penmanship
    Spelling
    Comprehension


    Just a few minutes a day, here and there... they actually beg me to read it to them over and over again. They ask a zillion questions each time we read it. It's adorable. I should mention that I homeschool my own two children. Not sure how this would work in a large classroom-type setting but I bet it would be a huge hit!!!

    So, you ask if I will buy the next book... well actually I'm already planning to unit-study teach the whole thing to my kids who will be ages 7 and 10 then. My husband is excited to start Chemistry with them and we are hopeful that the "Alchemist Dar" and his story will not disappoint. Ahhh yes, it'll be a fun year.

  10. #20
    Rieanne is offline Needs to say Hello! Rieanne is an unknown quantity at this point
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    I suppose I'll buy a copy. Don't know why, as I didn't do very well with this one, but as it was my real first attempt ( I don't count "Merlin" from many years ago as I believe I was too young ) I guess I learned a lot for future use.

    One thought I keep having is how will he be able to place his codes so that they will be understandable in different languages? I am assuming an international hunt would require translation into many languages. I don't believe a 5X5 as we have been using would work. Seems like it would be very confusing and that the solutions would have to be more graphic in nature (rely heavily on the pictures) JMHO.

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