Active Duty Soldier Writes New Interactive Anti-Bully Novel

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When three middle school boys are punished by the principal for bullying a fellow student, they find themselves trapped in the haunted school over the weekend. What happens next is up to the reader in Arthur M. Mills Jr.’s new book “The Crawl Space.”

The Crawl Space

“The Crawl Space” is a hit among all generations.

Bullying is receiving a lot of attention in the media, but it’s never had the repercussions that middle school bullies Bruce, Mark, and Charles will face. Trapped in a haunted school as their punishment, these bullies find their fates in the hands of their readers in Arthur M. Mills, Jr.’s new children’s novel “The Crawl Space” (9780986016608, Branching Plot Books, 2012).

Bruce, Mark, and Charles have long been the school bullies, tormenting younger and weaker kids. But they go too far the day they try to make their fellow student, Johnny, enter the dreaded crawl space under the school cafeteria’s stage. Everyone knows the crawl space is haunted by a boy who entered it and never returned, and Johnny is terrified. But fortunately, the school principal catches the boys before it’s too late. As punishment, she offers them the choice of notes to their parents or spending the weekend cleaning out the crawl space. More scared of their parents than the rumor of a ghost, they choose the latter.

But once they are alone in the school, the boys discover that not only is the crawl space haunted, but so is the rest of the school. When the ghost gives the boys a riddle to solve, they must make many difficult choices to ensure their survival. However, the reader gets to participate in making these choices, which range from which hallway to go down to which key to use to open a mysterious box. Whether the boys survive their punishment is as much the reader’s responsibility as it is that of the boys’ themselves, but just as the boys can’t control the supernatural events happening to them, even the reader won’t be able to control the storyline completely.

Mills decided to write a book where the readers get to make the choices because in his youth, he didn’t like adults making decisions for him. He tried to escape into the world of books, only to find authors were just as controlling as the adults in his life. Now that he is an author, he has vowed to let readers have control of the story. In “The Crawl Space,” the first of Mills’ Branching Plot Books, readers have up to twenty-four choices and eleven possible endings to choose. In addition, over eighty-five exciting illustrations accompany the stories, representing every supernatural, terrifying, and bizarre experience the main characters endure before their weekend in a haunted middle school comes to an end.

Destined to please adults and kids alike, “The Crawl Space” is a hit among all generations. Tyler R. Tichelaar, author of the award-winning “Narrow Lives” states, “Branching Plot Books are as much fun as the Choose Your Own Adventure books from when I was a kid. Beyond being a great adventure story, ‘The Crawl Space’ teaches readers lessons about bullying and friendship and the difficult choices we all have to make in life.”

About the Author
Arthur M. Mills, Jr. is the author of the award-winning part-memoir and part-fiction book, “The Empty Lot Next Door” and the newly published “The Crawl Space,” the first in a series of Branching Plot Books. Arthur is a Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army and has lived throughout the world. Arthur and his wife, Yonsun, have two children, Arthur and Allen.
“The Crawl Space” (ISBN 9780986016608, Branching Plot Books, 2012) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.

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