App of the Week: 3:15

Title: 3:15
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: First episode free, with subsequent ones 99 cents

App-based enhanced editions of On the Road and The Waste Land are finally pushing the boundaries of electronic texts, and young readers can have their own app-based literature experience with Patrick Carman’s 3:15‘ series.

The multimodal stories begin with a Rod Serling-esque’ narrative introduction,’ which unlocks a text that in turn leads to a video. The stories are creepy but never gory or gruesome, and they seem to tap into the terrors plaguing the tween psyche. Atmospheric music and visual effects are well-done, and the videos, while brief, are of high production value.

Carman pioneered multimedia authorship for middle grades with the Skeleton Creek series.’ ‘ 3:15 offers’ social sharing components built into the App, with an in-App message board in addition to twitter and facebook integration.’ ‘ 

Librarians who enjoyed the Alfred Hitchcock anthologies in their own youth will’ appreciate the rebooted “Listen, Read, Watch” experience, and both content and format’ are sure to appeal to many reluctant readers. The narrative typically comprises between 25 and 30 screens of’ rather pithy text. Carman is using “Paul Chandler” as’ a pseudonym for this project.

Season One will conclude with a ninth episode July 5th, and Season Two resumes September 1.’  There is a “teaser” which readers can use to evaluate each episode before an in-App purchase. Though purchased episodes do not auto-sync across iOS platforms, they can be downloaded to multiple devices.