Equipping Our Kids to Be Discerning
How do you teach your kids to be brave and discerning? I have two boys, five and three, and they’re already picking up on what’s popular when they watch television programs and play with their friends. When I came across Brave Books for children, I was immediately interested. Their mission is to help you leave a lasting legacy by instilling pro-God and timeless values in your kids and grandkids. Their stories teach kids how to be strong and discerning when confronted by questionable culture.
Sheltering our kids is a losing strategy. We must equip them to be discerning. – Trent Talbot, President of Brave Books
Brave Books Book Club is Kid-Approved
I’ve subscribed to the Freedom Island Book Club. My boys loved the first book and the map of Freedom Island (where good battles evil and truth prevails). They were all over the map when we laid it out on the floor to look at it. On the island, there’s a volcano, an enormous tree with houses in it, an amusement park, snow-capped mountains, a castle, ships, and more. There’s also a place to put the stickers that come with the books.
Book One about Gender
The first book in saga one is Elephants Are Not Birds by Ashley St. Clair. It’s about an elephant named Kevin who loves to sing. When a vulture named Culture suggests that Kevin might actually be a bird, he embarks on an adventure exploring reality, identity, and truth. The story is really sweet and the illustrations are darling. It’s appropriate for any family, even those who are sensitive about this topic. It’s cleverly written in rhyme, which makes it relaxing to read. My five-year-old listened to the entire book intently, and that says something. He’s not an avid reader yet.
The moral is easy for children to understand and the story is one I’ll refer to when talking to my boys about gender. I love the following quote from the book that affirms we are all unique, and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of diversity. Creation is a kaleidoscope. You can embrace the strengths of your biological gender and your own unique interests.
Zip it, Culture! I’m not listening to you!
I am most free when I trust what is true.
I am an ELEPHANT; that’s plain to see.
From this point on, I’ll enjoy being me.
I was right from the first. Tricky Culture was funny;
I’m no more a bird than he is a bunny.
My life is not just about how I feel;
I can sing as an ELEPHANT; that’s what is real!
Kirk Cameron’s Book about the Fruit of the Spirit
Kirk Cameron also authored a book in the Freedom Island saga and is touring with Brave Books. He played Mike Seaver on Growing Pains in the late eighties and early nineties. I loved that show! Now, as an adult, I’m even more a fan of his work and all he stands for. His book As You Grow is about the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control). Kirk was in Hendersonville, Tennessee on February 25th for a Brave Books story time event, and my family got to go!
Freedom Island Tour in Hendersonville, TN
Despite the cold, drizzly weather that Saturday, hundreds of people came out to the Hendersonville library for the story hour. Missy Robertson from Duck Dynasty and former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines were also there to read books. When we arrived, there was a long line outside of the library. Thankfully, we were prepared for a day outdoors (we went to the Nashville Zoo afterward). We joined the line of families who were patiently waiting. It was around 10:30 a.m.
What we didn’t know at the time was that some of the library staff were being incredibly rude and spiteful to the Brave Books team. Missy Robertson shares her own firsthand account of what happened on Episode 644 of the Unashamed podcast. Judgmental staff members were purposefully being loud in the library to prevent Brave Books from filming promotional videos. How unprofessional is that? The library director was fired, and rightfully so. You can view a video of Riley Gaines confronting the staff here.
You would think public libraries would welcome a group of celebrities who are volunteering to host a Saturday story time, right? One that hundreds of people come out for. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case for Brave Books. Kirk has shared that so far, their request has been denied by over fifty libraries—libraries that have previously hosted drag queen story hours for children.
Kirk was prepared to assert his constitutional rights. He sent a copy of his children’s book to these libraries so they could read it themselves. They retracted and allowed Brave Books to rent a room.
Not long ago, there was an issue at my local library in Kentucky that concerned a lot parents. A brave friend of mine went to bat for all of us, speaking to the library board about inappropriate DVDs attracting kids’ attention in the entrance. Thankfully, that display is no longer there.
It’s a shame we have to be so on guard about what our kids are exposed to at the library these days. And it’s a shame Kirk’s had to assert his rights to read his wholesome children’s book at public libraries across America.
Using Brave Books to Leave a Legacy of Discernment
That’s why I’m writing this blog post—to make more people aware of Brave Books and their movement. Other books in their collection cover timely topics like the sanctity of life, capitalism versus communism, cancel culture, truth, and so many more. These are tough topics. The Brave Books collection is a tangible teaching tool that helps you rationally think through these issues with your kids. In fact, each book includes games and discussion questions in the back. Use them to leave a legacy of discernment. They’re a must-have for your family library!
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
How do you teach your kids to be brave and discerning? Comment below and share ideas or other book recommendations. To read more about sparking spiritual conversations with your kids, see my post Precious Moments.