“I Met Thomas Edison,” Says Twelve-Year-Old Boy in New American History Book for Kids

October 25, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment News
Twelve-year-old Anthony, of Seattle, Washington, claims that he traveled into the past and spent several years working in Thomas Edison’s laboratory. Photographic evidence seems to indicate that Anthony's claim is true! "I worked with Thomas Edison on the phonograph, the light bulb, and the motion picture camera,” says the young time-traveler. "And, best of all, Thomas Edison told me the secret to his success!”

It's all part of a new book, by Seattle author Michael Class. Class used advanced digital 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. 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." The book, Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame, is recommended for young adults, grade 6 to grade 12.

Class included many subtle touches to convince his readers that Anthony was "really there." Anthony knows things that only an eyewitness to history would know. In the case of Thomas Edison, Anthony gives an hour-by-hour eyewitness account of the experiments that led to the invention of the electric light, revealing details of the laboratory experiments that few people know. Anthony also peers into Edison's hand-written diary and discovers Edison’s real reason for inventing the electric light (hint: Edison did it to start a business that still exists today). Anthony also knows why Edison invented the electric chair, and talking dolls for little girls. Anthony is in the laboratory when Edison tries to invent the telephone answering machine just a year after Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone, but failed. The result of the failure, according to Anthony: Edison invents the phonograph!

In 1969, Anthony sees Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin do something that most people don't know about: Aldrin leaves Soviet cosmonaut medals on the moon. Who do the cosmonaut medals belong to? Why did Buzz Aldrin bring them to the moon?
"You'll have to read the book to find out," says Anthony, the time-traveler.

Commenting on the book, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin said: "The book's vivid narrative and captivating photographs transported me through space and time. I felt that I was once again standing on the surface of the Moon in 1969. Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame tells it like it really was in America's early space program - the adventure, the risks, and the rewards. I almost believe that Anthony was there! I think that 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."

The book is fun for kids, but Class designed the book to help parents, teachers, and homeschoolers, too. 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: recommendations for hundreds of books, movies, songs, and places to visit - all keyed to the subjects of each chapter. The author’s Web site includes a fun final exam.

Anthony's adventures in American history come with a moral lesson, another facet of the book with strong appeal for parents. 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. When Anthony meets his immigrant great-grandfather at Ellis Island in 1907, it's really a story about what it means to be an American. 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.

It's not an easy book," says Class. "The book challenges the young reader to see the modern world in light of the lessons of the past. Anthony compares the people and events of the past with the people and events of his own time. Anthony discusses the nature of good and evil, right and wrong, war and peace, what it means to be an American, honor and discipline, success and achievement, courage and destiny, marriage and family, God and purpose."

“Whether or not you believe that Anthony really traveled into the past,” says Class jokingly, “the book’s message is an important one. History is not a bunch of boring names and dates. History is alive with adventure. History is full of moral lessons for today. Anthony learned that the heroes of the past have something important to tell us: that the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose, and doing the right thing always matters.”

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame was named Outstanding Book of the Year by Independent Publisher (2006); awarded the Parent-to-Parent Adding Wisdom Award for Excellent Books (2007); is a celebrated winner of an iParenting Media Award for Excellent Products (2007), was named Reviewers Choice by Midwest Book Review (2006); and garnered Editor's Pick by Homefires: The Journal of Homeschooling Online (2006). Nationally syndicated talk-show host Michael Medved calls the book "entertaining and educational."

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame helps parents and teachers: The book includes recommendations for 461 books, 595 movies, 217 songs, and 155 places to visit, all keyed to the subjects of each chapter. The recommendations are offered as an exciting addition to any formal history curriculum, and as a way for kids to experience the past. The author's Web site offers a fun final exam.

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.

Amazon link: www.magicpictureframe.com/buythebook.html

Watch the Magic Picture Frame video: http://www.magicpictureframe.com/home/watchthevideo.html

Take Anthony's History Test: http://www.magicpictureframe.com/beyondthestory/anthonyshistorytest.html


Note to editors and book reviewers: Michael Class and Anthony are available for interviews. Photographs and review copies of the book are available.

Contact: Michael Class, 425-890-4894, class@MagicPictureFrame.com, Magic Picture Frame Studio, P.O. Box 2603, Issaquah, WA 98027-0119.