More About the Author
Carl Sommer, founder of Advance Publishing, began his journey into publishing when at the age of 40 he decided to become a New York City high school teacher. As Sommer taught he witnessed firsthand the many deficiencies of the educational system and began an investigation. During this time Sommer became an assistant dean of boys in a high school having 3,600 pupils where he counseled students and parents. To aid him in investigating America's educational system he took a year's leave of absence from teaching. During that time he became a substitute teacher at every grade level in 27 different schools in all the boroughs of New York City.
Identifying the problems and needs of America's students, he proceeded to craft solutions. During that time he moved his family to Houston, Texas. From his exhaustive ten-year study he wrote his first book, Schools in Crisis: Training for Success or Failure? (Free at our website). It has been heartily endorsed by teachers, university professors, and prominent educators around the country. This book has had a major impact on school reform in New York as well as other states.
Across the nation Sommer has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey Show. He has served on the Texas State Board of Education Review Committee and taught a Junior Achievement economics course at Prague University, Czech Republic.
Having worked also as a foreman, tool designer, and operations manager, Sommer started a specialized machining company with his two sons. Within four years it became the largest company of its kind in Texas, after nine years with 15 wire EDM machines, the largest west of the Mississippi River. Today they have over 50 EDMs (www.ReliableEDM.com). The success of this machining company allowed Sommer to fulfill his passion to publish character-building educational materials that teach children and youth how to become successful.
Sommer began to write children's books that taught virtues through interesting stories. Many of these stories were forged on the anvil of experience from his five children, 19 years of teenagers, and numerous grandchildren. He first published six children's books and submitted them in the proper fashion to the major reviewers. One of Sommer's main goals was to reach school librarians. However, the major reviewer, School Library Journal, gave his books an extremely low rating.
Sommer was disappointed, however when he read this statement in Children's Writer in "A Reviewer's Eye View" concerning Trevelyn Jones, children's editor of School Library Journal, he was outraged. The article stated: "Jones says, however, that didacticism can hurt a book. 'Many very small new publishers think a children's book must have a moral. Those get creamed immediately.'" His books were "creamed" because they were didactic and taught moral lessons.
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines didactic as: "a: designed or intended to teach; b: intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment." To Sommer, books conveying instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment, would be an ideal method of education. You may read more about this in the book he wrote, Character Under Attack and What You Can Do About It (Free at our website).
Believing that teaching children virtues through interesting stories would be popular, Sommer continued to write additional character-building children books. His books have been enthusiastically endorsed by parents, educators, and especially children (See endorsements). Twenty of his children's books and audio read-alongs have won these prestigious awards: Teachers' ChoiceTM Award, Mom's Choice Award, ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Award, Benjamin Franklin Award, The Communicator Award, Family Review Center Gold Award, iParenting Media Award, and Family Choice Award. Many of these books have also been translated into foreign languages. Sommer also has been nominated International Writer of the Year.
The Another Sommer-Time StoryTM series now has 24 books, and Advance Publishing is printing a bilingual version in English and Spanish. Sommer is also the founder and president of Digital Cornerstone, a recording and video studio. They have produced 24 Another Sommer-Time Adventure DVDs where Sommer reads the books and teaches character-building lessons. These videos are currently being shown around the world either on cable or streaming video by www.smileofachildtv.org, the largest children's 24 hour TV program. Advance is also producing Quest for Success series, currently 12 character-building graphic novels for upper elementary students and reluctant readers in junior and senior high school.
Sommer has been a foreman, tool designer, operations manager, and currently owner of a successful machining company, He has also authored technical books: Non-Traditional Machining Handbook, a book describing all of the non-traditional machining methods currently available; and coauthored with his son, Complete EDM Handbook.
With his industrial background, Sommer has produced a complete practical mathematics series, Number Success, from addition to trigonometry, supplemented with workbooks and videos consisting of 13 books and 47 CVD videos. Four of the teachers have won the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics from the National Science Foundation, and Sommer is the practical on-location teacher showing where math is used in the real world. Advance is currently planning on doing a web version of this program. Sommer has also written a phonics literature-based reading program, Phonics Adventure, consisting of over 40 books. These programs are to be completed in 2009.
Sommer's varied background as a U.S. Marine; educational, industrial, entrepreneurial experiences; being happily married over 50 years; and with five children and 19 grandchildren; is a great asset in helping him to write two new books for teens: Sex--If You're Scared of the Truth--Don't Read This, and Success--If You Don't Want the Truth--Don't Read This. His passion to see youth succeed keeps him motivated.
Sommer is an avid reader, and likes to go swimming and fishing. He exercises five times a week at home. Twice a week his workouts include chin-ups on a bar between his kitchen and garage, and dips at his kitchen countertop. Three times a week he does push-ups and leg raises, and five times a week he walks on a treadmill for 20 minutes. He attends church faithfully, and thanks the Lord for his excellent health. Sommer has no plans to retire. He is in excellent health and continues to write and develop educational materials in Houston, Texas.
Advance Publishing's mission statement reveals Sommer's passion and purpose: "Providing exciting and inspiring character-building resources that train and motivate children with positive virtues and life skills, which enable them to live successful lives, and results in stronger families, better schools, and a safer and more productive society."