"See You at the Library" in Rockton


Marla Anderson read the story "The Fight for Freedom Island" to a room full of parents and children at Talcott Free Library, Aug. 5, 2023. The series of books are written to promote good values and patriotism.

On Saturday, August 5, 2023, a large crowd of children and adults gathered in front of the Talcott Free Library in Rockton waiting for the doors to open.

Once children and their parents were inside, Marla Anderson, an area preschool teacher, read The Fight for Freedom Island, one of the eight “Freedom Island” Book Club series, written by Dr. Trent Talbot, founder and CEO at BRAVE Books. Free copies of the book were distributed to the young readers.

Editor's Note: After he heard in June about the nationwide event on August 5, Michael Nolan contacted Talcott Free Library about holding a BRAVE Book children’s book reading event at the library. Since the library announced the Drag Queen Q&A on June 16, many residents saw the BRAVE book reading as a protest against the drag event. 

But Nolan says, "We didn't talk, imply, or message anything in protest or in opposition during the Aug 5th event. We're not after a fight. The message is about community involvement and raising children with virtues and morals and adults being a positive force in the children's development. That's the focus. Faith, family, and community. I think there are a lot of distractions for our youth. Responsibility and duty are words children should become more familiar with. 'Servant Leadership' is what we need in our community leaders and a great way to preserve and defend the freedom we have is to teach the youth how to be free and have a Biblical worldview."

The national awareness movement at libraries across the country on August 5 was called "See You at the Library" and was promoted by BRAVE Books and actor, author, and filmmaker Kirk Cameron. In April 2023, it was planned for July 15, 2023 to coincide with an event at the US Capitol, but was later changed to August 5, 2023.

At each location, children are read a story that strives to help children learn about values and patriotism.

Cameron is the spokesperson for BRAVE Books, a publishing company that offers monthly subscriptions to wholesome, engaging stories that emphasize bringing "real American values" into the hearts and minds of children and their families.

Cameron spends a lot of his time reading to kids. He is a passionate BRAVE Book advocate and the author of As You Grow, a children’s book that teaches Christian values and principles. Cameron and BRAVE Books say they are on a mission to promote free speech in libraries and schools.

Michael Nolan of South Beloit, IL is president of Gatekeepers Solutions NFP, a newly founded organization in the Stateline area that is grounded in faith and committed to promoting civic duty and community service.

“Gatekeepers is dedicated to helping adults and children understand what is going on in their communities and getting involved,” Nolan said.

A Rockton grandmother of nine, Tressan Moore, brought five of her grandchildren to the event. “Talcott Library is our library. We want our community library to reflect our values.”

Tressan Moore and five of her grandchildren wait outside Talcott Free Library for the BRAVE Books storytelling event on Aug. 5, 2023.

Hononegah Community High School board member and Talcott Free Library board member Bob Geddeis attended the storytelling event. “It’s a good opportunity to get the community involved.”

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