Best-selling author Brad Meltzer discusses children’s book series

#1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer has made it his mission in life to offer all kids a different kind of hero. He was tired of seeing all the princesses and reality stars that children idolize, and knew from his love of history that there were incredible real world heroes that children would be fascinated by and look up to. The Ordinary People Change the World series was born.

On how he selected Jim Henson as a subject, Meltzer said, “Of all the books we’ve done, this is the very first where the person was truly MY hero growing up. For me, it was always Jim Henson and Mr. Rogers. Those were the ones who changed my life. They taught me there’s good in all of us. Sure, we’re all different. Some of us have beards, or no hair, or blue fur, or green flippers. But goodness lives within each of us. And best of all, you can use your creativity to share it with others.”

This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Jim Henson, for example, was always dreaming up something new, and always expressing his belief in the goodness of people. Henson was a born performer with a terrific sense of humor, and he used those talents to help create two of the most beloved programs in television history: The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Through his Muppets, Jim showed the world that there’s nothing more beautiful than imagination, especially when it’s accompanied by laughter and kindness.

A “child-sized view of history” (Detroit Free Press), Ordinary People Change the World launched in 2014 to great media coverage.  Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, each book in the series is a biography of a real historical icon, told in a simple, conversational, and vivacious way, and puts “a fresh spin on famous Americans” (Entertainment Weekly). Meltzer, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, as well as a History Channel host, wanted children to see that real heroes – people like Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart or Rosa Parks – were real people capable of extraordinary things. Once children hear about these ordinary people who have changed the world, they react the same way we all do. They’re inspired. They dream bigger. They work harder.

Can you guess who Christopher illustrated below?

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