Time Traveler Tours Given Carte Blanche to #TurnHistoryOn


A Kickstarter “Staff Pick”
A Best Crowd-funded Literary Project, The Guardian

(July 1, 2015: New York, New York) – Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Time Traveler Tours & Tales, a ground-breaking publishing imprint that combines the traditional power of story with the magic of the touch screen to create portals to the past, will launch its first project. In the Footsteps of Giants, the story of the making of Michelangelo’s David, by international bestselling author Mary Hoffman, is tentatively slated for release in spring 2016. The digital-first, multiplatform company raised $41,491 thanks to the support of 277 backers, exceeding its goal of $40,000 to create a story-driven app. The print, audio, and interactive eBook editions of the tale will follow.

“Before seeking investment capital to build our imprint, we decided to take our idea to the crowd, to ask them what they thought it. I’m thrilled at their collective endorsement!” said Sarah Towle, founder and award-winning author and creator of TTT&T.

With the completion of the campaign and these secured funds, TTT&T is now able to produce Hoffman’s StoryApp Tour, while simultaneously building the architectural foundation for a digital publishing engine dedicated to bringing historic events and places to life for young readers, thus changing the face of cultural education. Future story-driven app projects include The American Revolution, The Civil War, and World War II.

As a StoryApp Tour, In The Footstep of Giants will allow reader/users to meet the young model who posed for David; go behind the scenes touring Florence and walk the streets Michelangelo walked; view archival images; hunt for historical artifacts; and engage with interactive puzzles and games. The print, audio, and eBook will take readers on a similar narrative journey, revealing how the artist came to immortalize the biblical hero King David who became a Florentine symbol for republican ideals.

Many kids (and even some adults) find it hard to grasp the distant past; they find history boring. With TTT&T’s virtual tours, people and places come alive. They are no longer just facts in a textbook, but encourage kids to literally, and figuratively, #TurnHistoryOn. Some educators call this “Place-Based Education”—learning through the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place. And while the books will be great classroom companions, the apps will be fun for those interested in exploring historic places, art, and events, whether on their own or traveling in school or family groups.

To learn more about the conversation on Twitter, use the TTT&T hashtag: #TurnHistoryOn.


  • Ran May 19, 2015 through June 26, 2015

  • Goal: Raise $40,000 to create the interactive In the Footsteps of Giants story-driven app and the framework for future apps

  • Incentive gifts included but were not limited to:

    • limited edition Roxie Munro art work,

    • custom live tour of the App,

    • consultations with publishing professionals, and

    • a collection of seasonal Tuscan recipes by Italian Chef, Katia Amore

Visit the Kickstarter Campaign Here

ABOUT TIME TRAVEL TOURS & TALES: The imprint’s first title, Beware Madame la Guillotine: A Revolutionary Tour of Paris, by Sarah Towle, reveals the history of the French Revolution through the eyes and experiences of young murderess Charlotte Corday. It hit the App Store July 2011, and went on to receive numerous accolades, including:

  • Apple New & Noteworthy

  • School Library Journal Top 10 App

  • Teachers with Apps Top 10 Tried & True Classroom App

  • World Youth and Student Educational Travel Confederation Top 10 Educational Travel App

In July 2013, Teacher With Apps honored the App again, certifying it as an “Educational App of Distinction,” one of 25 apps that “go above and beyond excellent.” The English-language interactive book version of Beware of Madame la Guillotine launched in iBookstores worldwide February 2012; the French version in 2013; and the English-language print edition in 2014.

TTT&T annually donates a percentage of its profits to literacy organizations in developing nations.

For more information visit: www.timetravelertours.com;
Follow @HistoryTurnedOn
Like on Facebook: TimeTravelerTours

ABOUT SARAH TOWLE:  Sarah Towle writes creative nonfiction stories that bring history to life through first-person storytelling and interactive games. Her concept combines the traditional power of narrative with the latest in mobile technology to put the past at the tips of your fingers. It represents a new model in digital publishing. Sarah blogs about writing, app development, tech in education, and digital publishing at www.sarahtowle.com. She has presented at industry events in Europe and North America, including SCBWI-LA, NESCBWI, and O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing. She can also be found regularly in International Schools around the globe as a guest teacher and lecturer. Follow her @TowleSarah

ABOUT MARY HOFFMAN: Mary Hoffman is a journalist, and international bestselling author of more than 90 books for children and young adults, including the award-winning Stravaganza series, a time-travel, historical adventure set in historic Italy. She has three grown children and divides her time between Oxford, England and Italy. For more information visit her at maryhoffman.co.uk and follow her @MARYHOFFMAN