By Stephanie Fagin-Jones
This paper reviews Ordinary People Change the World picture biography series, by New York Times Best-Selling author Brad Meltzer and award-winning illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos. The series offers children, parents, and teachers an indispensible resource toward cultivating the character traits and behaviors associated with heroism and heroic leadership. The extensively-researched, historically accurate series is comprised of eight books, each respectively entitled: I Am…Martin Luther King, Jr.; Albert Einstein; Amelia Earhart; Helen Keller; Rosa Parks; Jackie Robinson; Lucille Ball; and Abraham Lincoln. A major contribution of this book series lies in its ‘parallel process’: parents who share this series on the prosocialization of heroes are themselves engaging in the process of prosocialization with their own children, and in so doing, may be fostering the development of future heroes. Reading this series is likely to stimulate dialogue between parent and child focused on themes of character development associated with heroism and heroic leadership. Such dialogue may serve as scaffolding upon which narratives of moral development and moral identity can be based.