August 1, 2022

The Time to Support Alternative Children’s Books is Now

By: Ericka Andersen

It used to be a given that children were taught basic American history in public schools. We can no longer trust the system, however. The biggest example of this is the push to integrate the highly controversial “1619 Project” into the basic curriculum for children. 

Something so controversial and thoroughly criticized by thoughtful, reputable historians should not be adopted into public school agendas. Gordon Wood, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian called the “1619 Project” “wrong in so many ways.” James McPherson, dean of Civil War historians called it “unbalanced” and “one-sided,” a project that “left most of history out.” At least five notable historians  “alleged significant factual errors.” 

As one writer put it, “truth seekers are being thwarted in the 1619 debate.” No wonder so many parents are eager to leave public school systems for other options. It’s one of the reasons school choice has become an increasingly bipartisan issue and why so many individuals are seeking out creative ways to ensure history isn’t erased. 

Walk into any bookstores (or browse the Amazon childrens section) these days and you’ll see books like “anti-racist baby” or kiddie bios devoted to Ruth Bader Ginsberg. What you won’t find are children’s history books devoted to conservative and independent ideas and figures. Even though half the country would love to see these titles, the powers that be do not promote them. 

Thankfully, we’ve seen ambitious individuals who care about kids (and history) come out with a variety of options for families who want something different. A host of new children’s book companies and educational options has emerged in the past several years – especially in light of the colossal failure of public education in the midst of COVID. 

One such company, Heroes of Liberty, aims to feature some of the lesser-told stories. Claiming to combat “woke drift,” they are putting out books for kids that offer the back stories for people like Ronald Reagan, Douglas MacArther, Thomas Sowell, Margaret Thatcher and more. There is certainly nothing wrong with learning about Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Jimmy Carter, but children should be exposed to historical people of all ideologies. 

Unfortunately, schools and culture-at-large are attempting to tell kids what to think, rather than how to think and evaluate stories and people within context and on the merits. By offering a variety of options, Heroes of Liberty and other companies, like Brave Books, the Tuttle Twins, Prager U Kids and other companies like Daily Wire (who is now pouring a significant amount of money into kids, educational media). 

Even if you aren’t a parent, this stuff matters. Children are the future of the country and we can’t erase history or teach them that some people matter more than others. It’s so important to showcase a variety of ideologies and tell the stories of historical figures that made a difference, regardless of politics. We can be thankful for the folks that are making it happen and be excited to support alternative publishing efforts in this crazy time of cultural ideological over-lording. 

As Gen-Xers and Millennials, readers of this website are or will be parents and leaders that have a responsibility to ensure these kinds of efforts gain and sustain life. It’s more important than you can imagine.