Monday, September 22, 2008
Reading Something of Value
When I was a kid, one of my favorite sets of books were the ValueTales. I learned about Louis Pasteur and pasteurization, about Marie Curie and radium and Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. I liked reading about people who did real things whose influence I could still see in the world. Helen Keller was brave and hard-working. Benjamin Franklin was curious and inventive. Abraham Lincoln was honest and intelligent. And all of these people were once kids like me -- wanting to know more about their world and wanting to make a difference. A lot of the colorful, enticing non-fiction books for kids today seem to be about things rather than people - trucks and animals rather than Ghandi and Florence Nightingale.
Apparently, there are "New" ValueTales. I'm not sure what they changed -- it just says "revised art, and updated text" -- but I hope that they give the kids the same feelings of hope and empowerment that they gave me.