The Three Spartans by James McCann had its book birthday earlier this week. We have copies in stock and orders are going out. It’s always an exciting time when a new book arrives.

James McCann is celebrating his new book by offering super cool freebies to accompany it. He’s giving away STLs files that he created for the characters. What’s an STL file? It’s like a blueprint for a 3D printer. These particular STL files are modifications of files from Desktop Hero 3D and created by Andrew Stockton.

Kids – or anyone – can take the STL files to a library with a 3D printer and build their own Spartan warriors. Not all libraries have 3D printers, but they are becoming more common. Maker spaces are another place you can find 3D printers. If you want to learn more about 3D printing, James has a blog post about it on his site.

James has also created a Scratch game to go with the book.  Scratch is an open-source coding language that is used in schools to teach kids code.

These freebies are great giveaways, and they make a lot of sense for the story. The Three Spartans features all sorts of cool activities. The characters play an online video game as well as a Dungeons & Dragons type of role playing game. And they participate in an epic paintball battle.

Something about this book speaks to another kind of kid: the grown-up kind. When my partner Jon read the book, he said the book described an independent world full of imaginative play that he remembered as a kid. The book inspired him to build a role-playing world complete with a miniature tree house for the set of the book trailer.

James also has some traditional promotional events lined up: a launch party at Kidsbooks in Vancouver on November 7 and signings at the Surrey Writers Festival October 26 and Black Bond Books in Delta on November 17. 

To learn more about The Three Spartans, check out the book page.