I am excited to introduce you to Zachary Bell from Brave Books™, a children’s book series created to help parents promote conservative Christian values in the next generation through their creative stories and interactive discussion guides and games.
Tell us a little about you, why you got involved with Brave Books, and your role with the company.
My name is Zachary Bell, and I am the Chief of Staff at BRAVE Books. I came on full time back in May of this year. I took this role because I saw a clear opportunity to play a vital role in providing families books that would help instill good values in their kids for the glory of the Lord.
Can you share with us the mission of Brave Books and how it all started?
BRAVE Books is empowering this generation’s youth with traditional values so that the next generation will be filled with strong and discerning leaders. It was started by the CEO, Trent Talbot. When Trent began having kids, he quickly noticed that there was a real war going on for the hearts and minds of the next generation. He is a doctor by trade but felt so strongly about his conviction to provide an alternative, he left his practice to start BRAVE Books and that is how BRAVE Books was born.
How can your resources help Christian parents living in today’s society?
Every story is a tool that parents can use to talk to their kids about difficult subjects such as gender identity, the sanctity of life, cancel culture, and so on. Kids are going to be exposed to all sorts of bad ideologies from school, friends, T.V. and the internet, and it is up to parents to teach their kids the truth. BRAVE Books exists to equip parents with books that have engaging stories that can be used to explain complicated issues.
What is the ideal age group for this book series?
We believe that the age range for our books is 4-12. We have worked very hard to create simple stories so that someone on the younger side of the age range would enjoy sitting and listening to the story while we also provide an overarching story through the BRAVE Universe that older kids will enjoy. The BRAVE Challenge in the back of each book is another way we draw an older audience into the series.
Our family enjoyed reading through three of the Brave Books – Elephants are Not Birds, Little Lives Matter, and The Island of Free Ice Cream. Can you share with us the theme of each book and what Biblical truths children can learn from them?
Each of our books tackles a different truth that we think young people need to hear today.
Elephants are Not Birds is on gender identity. It teaches that no matter how you feel, you are what God made you. An elephant will never be a bird, no matter how much he feels like one.
Little Lives Matter tackles sanctity of life, starting from the root of the pro-life message and claiming that another person’s life is always worth more than ease, pleasure, or comfort. In an age-appropriate way, it confronts abolition, suicide, and euthanasia.
Finally, The Island of Free Ice Cream addresses the dangers of communism. Because it assumes that man is sinful, it claims that our society should not give all control and responsibility to the government. Whatever they promise, we won’t get free ice cream.
These truths, which ultimately come from God’s Word, are taught in engaging ways through stories and games. Share with us the process that went into writing these books and deciding how to present them in a way kids can understand and enjoy?
We didn’t want to just create another book for children. We looked at what Marvel™ made for adults in the Marvel Universe™ and desired to create that for kids. That is the inspiration behind creating the BRAVE Universe. We wanted these books to captivate the attention of kids across the country with a fun universe and special cast of characters. It took a lot of thought and planning. Every character has meaning. Every villain represents a dangerous ideology that kids face today. The main protagonists in the story line are Bongo, Rebel, Asher, Valor and Eva and together they make team BRAVE . Every book is written in such a way that they build on one another. This allows for the kids to get excited to continue reading the books. The kids get a map with the purchase of a book and this map shows all the different cities within Freedom Island (this represents America and is shaped like the 13 colonies). The kids get super excited to read a story and then check the map to see where the story was located.
How can a Christian family take these books and go deeper with their kids in understanding the Biblical truths behind them?
The books have Bible verses in the back that go along with the topic of the story. This gives parents the opportunity to dive deeper where they feel like it is necessary. If you are a parent who frequently discusses biblical truths with your kids, it is very easy to look back at a BRAVE Book and use the story as an example of what God’s word proclaims. For example, in Elephants are Not Birds the protagonist tells Culture (who is a vulture and a villain) to “zip it, Culture ! I’m not listening to you! I am most free when I trust what is true.” What a great example for kids to see in a story that regardless of what culture might be saying, you trust what is true. God’s word is truth.
The books also bring up an important awareness of how our culture today is trying to negatively influence our children to do things that go against our Biblical values, and the importance of standing up for what is right. How can we teach our children the balance of standing up for truth, while not becoming divisive in the way we talk or act towards those who don’t share our values?
I would say helping them understand the difference between the two. Spend time focusing on examples in scripture where we see Christ share truth in love to his enemies. A great place to start would be to ask the question why… Why do I want to interject and speak on a subject? Is it to glorify God or myself? Is it to genuinely help someone or cause strife?
Sometimes division is unavoidable. Sometimes standing on a biblical worldview will end in someone being upset that we would take that stance. This is not our home, and we must remember that.
What other topics do you plan to cover in the future related to Biblical truth that our readers should know about?
We have a book on Truth that came out on November 29th. This book is so good, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. We will be covering topics like family, true masculinity and Personal Responsibility in 2022. These stories will be heavily influenced by the Scripture.
What are ways to purchase these great resources and learn more about Brave Books?
You can visit bravebooks.com to learn more about the series. Visit the About Us page to read our purpose and mission statement. We also have a podcast that is coming out that will debut in the coming months called BRAVE Books Parenting Podcast. We will sit down with the authors of the books and discuss the importance of parenting in today’s society.
Thank you so much for sharing with us about Brave Books and how the stories help children learn how to discern God’s truth from bad ideologies! I believe these books will be a great tool for families to equip their children in Godly values and discuss how to practically stand up for God’s truth throughout their lives.