by John J. Miller

“Books don’t have covers, they have doors,” says Johnathan Rand. He’s the author behind the American Chillers series of books for children. They include Michigan Mega-Monsters, Wisconsin Werewolves, and Mutant Mammoths of Montana. Each alliterative title is set in a different state. My kids have loved reading them. They’ve also met Rand, who runs Chillermania, a store that carries only his own books, in Indian River, Michigan (see the photo below).

During the school year, Rand travels the country and gives school presentations. On Thursday, he came to our neck of the woods in Virginia, so my wife and I took our brood. Rand spoke for more than an hour about the importance of reading and writing–and he kept several hundred elementary-school kids in rapt attention the whole time. It was an amazing performance, full of humor and good advice: “Reading isn’t something you do, it’s a place where you go,” “Don’t be a writer, be a re-writer,” and so on.

If you want kids to read and maybe even write, check out Johnathan Rand and Chillermania.