Award-winning journalist Raymond Arroyo says America has "amnesia" about its history, and he's on a mission to help change that, one book at a time.
Arroyo's "Turnabout Tales" children's book series launched this year, spotlighting small moments and events in the lives of individuals that changed history. The first book, The Unexpected Light of Thomas Alva Edison, tells the story of a young Thomas Edison and his mother. His second book, The Magnificent Mischief of Tad Lincoln, will be released on Oct. 3, telling the story of Abraham Lincoln and his young son.
Zonderkidz is publishing them. The books are illustrated and geared toward children 4-8.
"We have amnesia," Arroyo told Christian Headlines. "... We need to know where we came from so we know where we're going. And I think so many kids don't have that foundational knowledge, and it's not part of school curricula anymore."
A Fox News Contributor and an anchor for EWTN News, Arroyo said he learns about the historical figures as he researches. The books are unique in that they tell the stories of American history through the eyes of a child.
"I didn't know Edison's mother homeschooled him after he was thrown out of school at eight years old. So if I didn't know that, I figured others didn't, either," he said.
Arroyo learned a lot about Abraham Lincoln, too. For example, Lincoln was the first president to pardon a turkey – and Tad had a hand in it.
Tad's playful charm comforted his father during the Civil War, Arroyo said.
"As I dug deeper, I found a story of a father and son, and how important that relationship was to Abraham Lincoln," Arroyo said. "And so it was a bit of history that hadn't quite been unearthed. And the Turnabout Tales series is all about how young [people] face challenges, a decision is made and all of history changes and turns. … Emotionally, personally, [Abraham Lincoln] needed Tad Lincoln in his life. … He was a constant source of joy and I think normalcy for Abraham Lincoln during a very dark period."
Tad traveled with his father and was with him at his major addresses, Arroyo said.
"And he's there listening as Abraham Lincoln pardons so many soldiers that abandoned the warfront during the Civil War. And this theme of mercy and forgiveness really is not only a part of Abraham and Tad Lincoln story, it's a part of Thanksgiving, and why Lincoln decided to make it a national holiday. And that, too, is, I think, a lesson and a bit of the story we need today, when the country is so divided, when we as a people are so divided, and so separated not only from each other, but from God. And Lincoln alludes to all of that in his Thanksgiving Day proclamation. But I think Tad Lincoln played a big role in all of this."
Photo courtesy: ©Zonderkidz
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
Looking for Wholesome Family Films This Christmas Season? Listen to Our Culture Expert Share Her Top 5 Family-Centered Films - Perfect for Family Movie Night!
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.