A Note to Readers
I can’t wait to read Ken Lamug’s new book! I mean, a superhero story with a snarky sidekick—how cool is that? The book comes out June 15–and I’ll be waiting for mine to arrive at my local indy bookstore. But if you want to order one and get a signed book, poster, bookmark, and stickers:
You could also win a copy right here at the blog! Read the post and learn how you can win at the very end of the post!
Teaching Mischief and Mayhem #1:
Born to Be Bad
Tell us about your book
Mischief and Mayhem #1 Born To Be Bad is a middle grade graphic novel series starring Missy and her cat Gizmo. We follow our dynamic duo on a hilarious and crackling adventure as they fall into supervillainy after getting kicked out of superhero camp.
What do you hope readers will take away from the book
On the surface, Mischief and Mayhem is a fun twist on the old superhero genre. The pages are filled with visual jokes, colorful & diverse casts, and entertaining banter between the characters.
Our heroine, Missy, is a creative kid who loves tinkering and building gadgets. But like those who are hyper-focused on a passion, she longs for friendship and feels a little bit of an outcast. She joins superhero camp to make friends and showcase her skills, but eventually gets kicked out because does not have actual superpowers.
Melvira, an old friend from camp, convinces Missy to join her cause as supervillains. Even though Missy would never intentionally do bad things, the prospect of being able to showcase her talents without following the superhero rules sounded very appealing.
Missy soon discovers Melvira’s agenda of taking revenge against the Superheroes. She must decide if she wants to go along with Melvira’s plans or potentially break it off with her one true friend — and do what she knows is right.
On a deeper level, the story is about Missy’s struggles with the idea of identity. She navigates the expectations from society, parents, and friends. She learns through her trials that being true to herself and transcending the labels of villain and hero is where she belongs.
And yes, she has a hilarious side-cat who loves eating, contradicting everything while providing as much emotional support as possible.
How might a teacher or librarian use your book in the classroom?
- One of the more interesting dynamic in the book is the relationship between our hero and villain. The teacher could discuss with the children why they have such a strong bond even though they have different objectives.
- What characteristics does Missy have that make her a hero even though everyone calls her a supervillain? And what line was she unwilling to cross that tells the reader that she is a good person?
- With Missy being Asian, the book also showcases various Asian food and snacks. The teacher could talk about their origin and their special characteristics and flavors.
- Missy has an interesting family dynamic. She is of Asian descent, has an adopted brother, a working mom and a work from home dad who loves to cook. For a more mature group, a conversation about shifting family roles could be a topic of interest. There can also be discussion about various cultures, how they are different and their positive impact in our modern and diverse society.
Can you share an exercise or activity that teachers can do with students after they’ve read your book?
I created an activity workbook which can be downloaded at www.MischiefBook.com. It contains superhero/supervillain character worksheets, comic book templates, puzzles, mazes, and other fun exercises. Here are few of them:
- Superhero worksheet
One of the exercises I encourage kids to try out is to create their own superhero or supervillain. What characteristics, personalities and powers would they have? What are their strengths and weaknesses? And if you were to write a story about your character, how would it go?
- Making comics
Creating a comic is a fun way to encourage children to draw and write stories. It does not need to be perfect, and a child can start with stick figures. In the activity book, I have provided comic book templates as well as pre-drawn comics kids can use to write their own dialogue.
What books pair well with your book?
Everyday Superheroes: Women in STEM Careersby Erin Twamley, Joshua Sneideman
How to be a Villain: Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans and More!!!
by Neil Zawacki
Cardboard Box Engineering
By Jonathan Adolph
Little Bento: 32 Irresistible Bento Box Lunches for Kids
by Michele Olivier
About the author. Ken is an award-winning professional dabbler. He was born in the Philippines and moved to the US with his entire family during his teenage years. Currently, he enjoys his life as an author/illustrator of picture books and graphic novels for middle-graders to middle-agers.
In his past life he was a beekeeper, race car driver, filmmaker and chicken herder. He currently lives in Las Vegas (although he doesn’t gamble) where he spends time with his family and two dogs.
Ken is a retired Illustrator Coordinator for Nevada Chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). He also teaches graphic novels for Storyteller’s Academy and a team member of #KidLitGN Pitch event.
Visit him online at https://www.rabbleboy.com/