R-Jeneration: Writer Eric DelaBarre seeks to alter kids'”reading sucks, man” mentality

Twenty-two credit cards.

Spending the maximum limit on 22 credit cards was the price Las Vegas-born writer Eric DelaBarre paid to write, direct and produce his film "Kate’s Addiction." With the release of his new book "Saltwater Taffy" on Jan. 11, DelaBarre turns his creative determination to reducing childhood illiteracy throughout the country.

Utilizing the childhood tales "Lord of the Rings" and "Treasure Island," DelaBarre offers a treasure hunt on which the modern kid can embark, with moral treasure tips placed at the end of every chapter.

Scott Martin, 13, and four friends discover a clue to the long-deceased pirate Jean Lafitte’s treasure.

" ‘Run and jump’ usually happens in the third act of a movie where everything ties up," DelaBarre says. "With ‘Saltwater Taffy,’ it had to be a ‘run and jump’ story."

Setting "Saltwater Taffy" in 1972 allowed DelaBarre to remove the burden of technology from the plot, forcing the main characters to use their brains.

Scott’s friend Zippy uses a cipher found in the World Book Encyclopedia, since Google has yet to be invented.

"In 1972, I knew I didn’t have to deal with cell phones and the Internet," DelaBarre says. "I wanted to focus on what is important in life and teach kids the simple things in life."

DelaBarre’s degree in business marketing has enhanced his experience of packaging and selling his novel. He believes the trend of the creator holding the sole rights for a work is the new frontier.

"It’s absurd that the writer gets 15 cents a copy," DelaBarre says. "It’s risky, but I’d rather create something and stand by my product."

DelaBarre follows in the footsteps of literary giants such as Stephen King by affirming that all authors need a ritual when they sit down to write. DelaBarre brews his own ideas at various Starbucks when they open at 5 a.m.

"I write in Starbucks coffee shops because I get the free Internet, good coffee and you never know who you will sit next to," Delabarre says. "I’ve sat next to amazing teachers, met Jeff Nathanson (best known for his writing in ‘Catch Me if You Can’ and ‘The Terminal’) and show runners, too."

The film "Waiting for Superman" largely inspired the creation of "Saltwater Taffy," as DelaBarre wanted to help prevent the declining literacy rates in children. His planned book tour includes many of the "dropout factory" schools mentioned in the film.

DelaBarre, who attended Valley and Bishop Gorman high schools, is scheduled to give a presentation Tuesday at his former middle school, Helen C. Cannon Junior High.

"I know one thing is true: You cannot do anything without reading," DelaBarre says. "How are you going to read your contract? Reading is fundamental."

Throughout his book tour so far, DelaBarre has given away more than 5,000 copies of "Saltwater Taffy" to children all over the nation. Furthering his aspirations for the novel, United Way asked for 750 copies to use as an educational tool in an effort to curb childhood illiteracy.

"I need to be a part of this world and change it in the classroom," DelaBarre says. "If we want a better tomorrow, we need smarter people."

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
World Holidays Exhibit At The Natural History Museum
Migratory Bird Day teaches adults and kids to celebrate birds
Different organizations offered activities for kids and adults to learn about birds and celebrate their migration journey at Sunset Park. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon
"Jackson: The Red Rock Canyon Burro" is a children's book about Red Rock Canyon (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Interfaith Amigos speak in Las Vegas
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like