Nov. 17, 2006 – Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame, the new American history book by Seattle Michael S. Class, received a five-star review from Curled Up With A Good Kid’s Book, the online magazine and reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, and parents. “This book should be in every home,” writes book reviewer Joyce Handzo. “In addition to being a priceless collection of facts and photos, these pages offer a relevant look at history through the eyes of Anthony. Anthony is not only a spectator; he’s a participant, and that’s the genius of this book.”
Class used digital composite photography to place his twelve year-old son, Anthony, in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh, on the moon with Neil Armstrong, in the laboratories of Thomas Edison and Jonas Salk, and on Normandy beach on D-Day. In this way, Anthony time-travels into America’s past. Father and son labored for nearly four years in their garage filled with props from an army surplus store; the garage walls covered with blue bed sheets. The result: It looks like Anthony really did meet Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, FDR, Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, and Audie Murphy. The Web site, www.MagicPictureFrame.com, displays some of the book’s amazing photographs.
“I wanted to capture the interest of today’s kids,” says Class, “by turning American history into a grand time travel adventure. I am happy that the book is receiving recognition and praise from reviewers, parents, and teachers nationwide.” Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame is recommended for young adults, Grade 6 to Grade 12+.
Class designed the book to help parents and teachers. Years of meticulous research went into the book: Class spoke with relatives of famous scientists and inventors, Holocaust survivors, award-winning biographers, and others to ensure that the facts of the book were both accurate and vivid. Historical accuracy rules every page: even Anthony’s conversations with the people of the past are based on things they really said, all properly footnoted. Class also included built-in curriculum aids: his recommendations for hundreds of books, movies, songs, and places to visit – all keyed to the subjects of each chapter. His Web site offers a fun final exam.
“Because of all these resources, the magic of this book doesn’t end with the last page,” writes Handzo. “There are an almost infinite number of opportunities to further explore these memorable events.”
Anthony’s adventures in American history come with a moral lesson, another facet of the book with strong appeal for parents and teachers. The chapter about Lindbergh’s flight is really about choosing one’s destiny. The story of Lou Gehrig is one of a virtuous life. The chapter about Thomas Edison is really about business and the benefits of hard work. The story of Apollo 11 is about wonder, taking risks, and courage. The story of Dr. Jonas Salk is really about dedicating one’s life to a higher purpose. Anthony’s observation of D-Day and the liberation of the death camps during the Holocaust is a testament to the reality of evil and the need to fight it.
“The author smoothly incorporates moral lessons into the historical events,” explains Handzo, “providing young readers with a compass for today’s culture. However, the messages are never preachy; rather, they offer meaningful insights that can positively impact our world.”
“Every kid should read this book,” says Anthony, the time-traveler. “My favorite chapter is when I go back in time to meet my great-grandfather at Ellis Island. I am with him the day he becomes an American.” Family photographs were used in Anthony’s favorite chapter.
Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame was named “Outstanding Book of the Year” and “Most Original Concept of 2006” by Independent Publisher; “Reviewers Choice” by Midwest Book Review; and “Editor’s Pick” by Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling Online. Nationally syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved calls the book “entertaining and educational.” Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin says “parents and teachers will appreciate the inspiring message this unique history book holds for America’s next generation. I recommend this book to all young Americans, may they take us to the stars and beyond.”
Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame (hardcover, 225 pages, $25.00) is available at www.MagicPictureFrame.com, by calling toll-free 1-800-247-6553, at select bookstores, and on www.amazon.com.
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