'Lesson of World War II Forgotten,' Warns 12-Year-Old Anthony in New American History Book

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"Lesson of World War II Forgotten," warns 12-year-old Anthony in new American history book. Magic Picture Frame offers history lesson as Congress considers retreat from Iraq and war on terror.

The attack on U.S. soil on September 11, continuing acts of Islamic terrorism around the globe, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the recent nuclear weapon threat posed by Iran are all related: the "beginning of World War III." That's the contention in one chapter of a new American history book, Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame, by Michael S. Class.

In the book, Anthony, the author's real-life son, time-travels into the great events of the 20th Century: Anthony meets the heroes of America's past. Advanced digital photography places Anthony in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis with Charles Lindbergh, on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in the laboratories of Thomas Edison and Jonas Salk, and on Normandy beach on D-Day. Anthony meets Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, FDR, Lou Gehrig, Charles Lindbergh, Audie Murphy and many others. Historical accuracy rules every page of Anthony's adventure in time: Even Anthony's conversations with America's heroes are based on things they really said. The Web site, http://www.MagicPictureFrame.com, displays some of the book's amazing photographs.

"I designed the book to capture the interest of today's kids," says Class, "by turning American history into a time travel adventure. But, this is a history book with an important message for today's young Americans."

At the close of World War II, Anthony reflects on all that he has seen. "I felt a deep shame for humanity as a whole," he says, "but I couldn't help thinking that all the horrors I had seen during this war were somehow connected -- that the thirty-six million dead, the Death Camps in Europe, and the dropping of two atomic bombs were all part of the shameful price for not stopping evil early enough. It's a lesson that has been forgotten. In my time, evil is the cause of a new World War. And, once again, it's an evil that was ignored and allowed to grow stronger."

"Anthony is referring to the War on Terrorism," says Class. "The War on Terrorism pits the forces of freedom and democracy against the forces of radical Islamic tyranny. Anthony sees the new World War begin on 9/11 -- the date the war came to America's shores, the date I decided to write the book, and the date that Anthony steps through the Magic Picture Frame and into America's past."

Anthony travels back in time so that young readers can see their modern world in the 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. Class recommends the book for kids in Grade 6 to Grade 12, and "for adults who want to remember the truth and share it with their children."

"In the new World War," says Anthony in a comparison to World War II, "the forces of good clearly have the power to prevail over the forces of evil -- it's only the will to do what is necessary to win that is in doubt. People demand endless negotiation with the Hitlers of my time, limited responses to brutal attacks and quick exits from the fields of battle. They seem to be angry that their daily routine has been disrupted, not that the foes of freedom are on the march. And the men and women who risk the supreme sacrifice to fight for what is right? They are less appreciated, and even mocked."

"It's not an easy book," says Class, "but our children are not living in an easy 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."

Class offers hope to his young readers. From his discussions with America's heroes, Anthony learns that "the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose, one person really can make a difference and doing the right thing always matters."

Every chapter of the book carries that inspiring message. 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 the benefits of hard work. The story of Apollo 11 is about wonder, taking risks and courage. The story of Dr. Jonas Salk and the cure for polio 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.

A quote from British philosopher Edmund Burke opens the chapter on World War II: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame was named Outstanding Book of the Year 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 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 http://www.MagicPictureFrame.com, by calling toll-free 1-800-247-6553, at select bookstores, and on http://www.amazon.com.

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, Magic Picture Frame Studio, P.O. Box 2603, Issaquah, WA 98027-0119.

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