New York Times-bestselling children's book author Brad Meltzer has always wanted his kids to look up to individuals who truly changed the world. In an effort "to help kids build character, kindness and compassion," he created a line of empowering books for kids that spotlight normal people who do incredible things. Aptly named, Ordinary People Change the World, and illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos, his titles feature heroes from Jackie Robinson to Sonia Sotomayor.
"Our core belief is that ordinary people change the world," reads the website. "And we're not alone. You believe, as we do, that kids today need better heroes to look up to. Every day, our culture focuses more on fame rather than character. These books are our way of fighting back, to help kids build character, kindness and compassion, one real hero at a time."
Geared toward kids between the ages of 5 and 8 years old, the next book in the series (which hits shelves on March 9!) will highlight the accomplishments of Frida Kahlo. Additionally, the 25th book in his series — which is set to debut on Sept. 28 — will centre on beloved TV host, Oprah Winfrey.
"I want my kids to know that they shouldn't let anyone define them — or tell them they're not enough."
"This series was designed to give my own kids heroes of kindness, compassion and character. From the start of her career, Oprah was told her skin was too dark and that her body was the wrong size," Brad told POPSUGAR. "It's easy to worry about what others think. But I want my kids to know that they shouldn't let anyone define them — or tell them they're not enough. As Oprah has preached and proven, the only person you need to be is you. Plus, I grew up with Oprah. One of her shows really helped my Mom. We owe her forever for that."
According to Brad, the beauty of the series is that readers get a peek into their hero's childhoods. "Fame is different than being a hero. I wanted my kids to see real heroes . . . and real people no different than themselves," he said in a Q&A. "Each book tells the story of the hero when THEY were a kid. We see them as children."