What is Grammar Nation?

Grammar Nation is a company that is changing the way educational materials are created for today's students. We provide essential core curriculum that is entertaining and educational. We believe that teenagers will invest the same level of interest in educational materials as they do in video games and DVDs.

What is The Adventures of Genius Boy and Grammar Girl?

It is Grammar Nation's first creation, a grammar and punctuation textbook designed for middle school students. Our goal is to help even the most resistant Anti-Grammarians find motivation to study, and as a result, see their test scores significantly increase. Part of this book's appeal is in the wonderful artwork, the humorous story, and the zany, colorful layout. We want students to flock to English class excited that “today is grammar day!” (as they do in our workshops at Currey Ingram Academy in Brentwood, TN). The textbook provides the necessary curriculum for most middle school levels in close compliance with the Common Core Standards. The opening section of the textbook contains a diagnostic pretest, previewing the material throughout the book’s 218 pages and thirty chapters. If teachers devote one hour a week to these lessons, students should complete the entire book within one school year.

Does the book work for homeschool students?

Absolutely. We have received strong endorsements from homeschool parents and classroom teachers alike.

The Creation of This Book:

Tim Mathews conceived The Adventures of Genius Boy and Grammar Girl in 2005 while working as an English teacher at Currey Ingram Academy. His students were dealing with ADD, dyslexia, and similar challenges, and they would collectively groan whenever he reached for a standard grammar textbook. Hoping to find more engaging materials, Tim scoured the Internet, but every textbook seemed uninspiring. His students were bright. They were certainly capable of learning this curriculum. If only there were something to inspire them! One of Tim's students stood apart from the rest. Her name was Deena Roth, and she was a natural linguist. Because Deena always requested grammar lessons (the lone voice in the wilderness), Tim had nicknamed her "Grammar Girl." "Grammar Girl" brought to mind a superhero supplied with a magic red pen. She would save the world from evil "Anti-Grammarians" who wished to ignore the rules and speak and write any way they pleased (not a far cry from many of Tim’s real-life students). A grammar war would ensue. The story was taking shape, but an ingredient was still missing. Hmmm . . . how about a sidekick? But who could it be? One of Deena's classmates had a funny habit of stringing long, fabricated words together, thus creating a "smarter" version of himself. Yes, The Adventures of Genius Boy and Grammar Girl. Tim worked out a first-draft story with grammar lessons at the end of each chapter. For the second draft, Tim enlisted Deena and another bright student, Jenna Newman, to add touches of high-school humor so that their peers would be more likely to embrace the book as their own. Next, he enlisted successful animator and illustrator Yvette Kaplan as well as graphic designer Rachel Heussenstamm, and the project came to life.

Student Endorsements:

I never thought I would enjoy a grammar lesson. I'm extremely dyslexic and have ADD, so paying attention has always been difficult. When Mr. Mathews introduced the book, I was a bit reluctant. Then I saw how much fun it could be—different students reading the parts of the characters, the colors and the art. Not only did it hold my attention, but I was actually learning. I'm not sure I would have learned all I did without its help.

Learning grammar was much easier for me when there was a story to follow. The characters are creative and make the lessons fun. Before, I would want to run screaming into the night at the mention of anything relating to grammar. Genius Boy and Grammar Girl helped me to understand grammar in a way that other books had failed. The simple formula was to make it fun and interesting.

In middle school, grammar was always a weak point of mine academically. Then in my sophomore year of high school while in my British literature class, Mr. Mathews introduced his new grammar book. The book made all the grammar rules come to life for me while creating a fun character to follow on adventures of teaching grammar. As silly as I felt in high school reading a comic-book-style grammar textbook, I learned and had more fun than I would have from a standard book. Then when I was a freshman at Maryville College, I wrote an email to Tim Mathews. I thanked him for the knowledge of grammar he gave me. In my English composition class, I felt as if I knew so much more than my peers. I was the one answering questions in class. Now I love reading students' papers and giving advice. And it's all due to the grammar book.

Being part of the original class that the characters are based on is an honor, more so since I was a part of the creative process in writing the book. Until high school, I had only studied grammar in the first and second grade. Basically, I knew was what a noun and a verb was, but the rest I had to guess my way through. So when I was suddenly confronted with the daunting idea of having to learn grammar, I was less than thrilled. But our class, if I may brag, was special in that we wanted grammar to be more than just something to drudge through. Grammar should be interesting and funny, so we based the characters on ourselves. And though in the book we are just characters, in these characters there is a tiny bit of truth. My class is alive and kicking in the book, and I'll always treasure that class.

Our Team:

Author: Tim Mathews holds an MA in English from California State University, Northridge. He has taught English and/or ESL at Vanderbilt University, UCLA Extension, Nashville State Community College and Currey Ingram Academy, where he currently teaches. Tim has won songwriting awards and has had his songs recorded on major record labels.

Illustrator: Yvette Kaplan is a well-known animation director, character designer, writer, and artist. Among her many credits, she directed Arthur's Missing Pal, Doug, co-directed Beavis and Butthead Do America (with Mike Judge), and was the head of story on Ice Age. You can enjoy her reel and visit her website at YvetteKaplan.net.

Editor: Dan Marcus has edited books across a broad range of genres, including fantasy, crime fiction, children's literature, science, and philosophy. He also writes marketing materials and consults on scripts for film and theater. Dan has written the music and lyrics for five stage musicals produced in the Philippines.

Designer: Rachel Heussenstamm, an art director and graphic designer, has a spectrum of work that ranges from album cover design for cutting-edge indie rock bands to art direction for innovative educational websites. Her current projects can be viewed at littleorangefish.com.

Contributing Writer: Jenna Newman is currently attending the University of Denver where she is an Asian Studies major and English minor. She hopes one day to teach English in Japan.

Contributing Writer: Deena Roth is in culinary school. In her spare time she likes to make weird ice cream (avocado, garlic, corn, and mascarpone to name a few), and travel regionally to promote GMX, Nashville's multi-genre sci-fi convention.