Utah actor, 15, moves from Broadway to Brandon Mull book promotion

Published: Saturday, Dec. 28 2013 4:05 p.m. MST

Reviewers of his performance included such words as “excellent” and “terrific.” North Jersey’s The Record indicated Ackerman “sings powerfully and gives a spirited performance.”

Ackerman looks forward to Utahns seeing “Bonnie & Clyde” when Utah Repertory Theater Company produces the state premiere of the musical Jan. 17-Feb. 1 at the Lehi Arts Council.

“‘Bonnie & Clyde’ is not ‘Seussical the Musical,' but it is a very entertaining show, and Utah will really enjoy it,” he says. “It’s something I’m very proud of, and it was a tremendous experience to be able to perform in the show on Broadway.”

The real-life story of the notorious bank robber is dramatically different than the fictional life of Ackerman's Five Kingdoms character. He has yet to read a Mull book but plans to change that.

“As soon as I finish another book I’m reading for school, I’m going to read ‘Fablehaven,’ ” he says.

Simon & Schuster is hoping to encourage the habit of reading in young adults with its promotional work for Five Kingdoms. Along with the video, the publisher has commissioned Oswald’s Strillogy Productions to develop a companion video game that will require players to read the book in order to proceed in the game.

Mull also works to advance reading as a regular habit.

“I try to write the kind of books kids — or anyone — would read for fun, and I travel the country promoting reading in schools and libraries,” the author said.

“Reading enlarges our experience. Readers can access valuable truths without living through the required lessons. Kids who read for fun gain a huge educational advantage over kids who don’t. As kids learn to access information through words, they acquire information easier and score better on standardized tests. If I wanted to improve a kid’s educational experience, the first thing I would do is get him or her in front of fun books.”

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