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Mr Midnight answers 'Harry Potter

india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 12:53 IST
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Young Asian readers seeking the thrill of ghouls and haunted houses, which are no longer Western favorites to satisfy their itch.

Asia's answer to the record-selling British boy wizard Harry Potter is the Mr Midnight series of books.

It has sold more than one million copies in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia, says Alex Chacko, of the books' publisher.

Full of ghosts, dark closets, witches and creepy things, Mr Midnight is a heartbeat racing hit that has been translated into several different languages.

The appeal, says Mr Midnight author Jim Aitchison, is the books ability to address an Asian child's values and sensibilities.

"Asian kids are very different from American kids. They have different values," says Aitchison. "The kids in Asia are a lot more innocent ... What would shock an Asian kid in a book, an American kid will think, 'That's it?'," he adds chuckling.

Having spent 20 years in Singapore, the youthful looking Australian deems himself qualified to write about Asian children.

"I lived here long enough and I have seen enough kids and I have talked to enough people," Aitchison says.

Mysterious about his own age, he says "you sort of understand the (child's) mindset after a while, but it comes with age".

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