Brad Meltzer: Teach Kids That History's Heroes Are Human, Too

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 03:59 PM

By Courtney Coren and John Bachman

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Children need to see that heroes like Abraham Lincoln — and even Superman — also have a human side to them, best-selling author Brad Meltzer tells Newsmax.

"The most important part of Superman isn't Superman," he says. "The most important part of Superman is Clark Kent ... because we're all Clark Kent. We all know what it's like to be boring and ordinary and wish we could do something incredibly beyond ourselves."

Meltzer just released two new children's history books on Jan. 14, titled "I Am Abraham Lincoln" and "I Am Amelia Earhart." These are in addition to "I Am Rosa Parks," which he published in June 2013. The New York Times best-selling author plans to write a whole line of children's books in the same vein.

He says that he set out to write history books for children because he wanted to teach children that there is a difference between fame and being a hero.

So, he decided "to write a line of children's books illustrated for them that doesn't just tell the story of when they were famous, but also shows you when they were young so you see Abraham Lincoln when he's a little boy — and the result really is you see the power and the potential that's in all of us," Meltzer said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.

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Because of the content in some of these books, especially regarding topics such as slavery, Meltzer says that "kids are far smarter and far more resilient than we realize" and one of the points of the books "is to have these conversations."

He explains that readers also see that these heroes, because they are human, don't always do the right thing. He uses Abe Lincoln as an example.

"You see Abraham Lincoln reacting in ... the first moment [he] sees slaves ... chained to his boat. He doesn't do anything. He doesn't do the right thing in that moment, and he always regrets it. He always looks back and thinks of these people," Meltzer says.

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