19/09/2009. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Science fiction and fantasy author Barry Hoffman is donating the first 10,000 copies of his latest book Curse of the Shamra to schools and other educational institutions in the US in an effort to advance literacy among the underprivileged.
Hoffman is a former school teacher of 30 years in the Philadelphia public school system. His contribution totals over $160,000 in classroom resources. So far, copies of Curse of the Shamra have benefited thousands of young readers in classrooms, homeless shelters, Native American reservations, libraries, and individual homes in low-income areas across the country, with more requests coming in daily.
Curse of the Shamra is Book One in Hoffman's trilogy The Shamra Chronicles and is an epic fantasy that is aimed predominantly at young women, as the story follows 15-year-old Dara on her rise to being the leader of the Shamra's resistance after their utopian society was invaded and its people enslaved.
"Dara is given little voice or respect by her own people, but when life is turned upside down, she steps up and ascends to a leadership role with courage, vision, and hope," says Hoffman. "I think girls need role models like Dara."
Hoffman now resides in Colorado Springs, where he is also the owner and publisher of Gauntlet Press, an independent publishing house that specialises in releasing signed, limited editions by legendary authors such as Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Richard Matheson (The Shrinking Man, I Am Legend), and Stephen King-among other notables.
In addition to Curse of the Shamra, Hoffman has authored several award-winning Adult novels. But it is with Curse of the Shamra that he employed much of the insights and experiences that he garnered during his 30 years as a school teacher.
More on the novel over at www.ShamraChronicles.com
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