On one of the last Saturdays before the upcoming school year, libraries across the state held family-friendly story hours featuring books with biblical and patriotic messages.
More than 40 locations around Texas hosted these story times for children, sharing stories of life, liberty, and truth.
The most infamous of BRAVE story times occurred in Taylor, Texas, where hundreds of families lined the block outside the Taylor Public Library amid LGBT protestors. Local families eagerly awaited the read-alouds from actor Kirk Cameron and former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines, who is now an advocate for protecting women’s sports from males seeking to compete as“trans” women.
“To do what’s right to resist evil and not hand our children over to those who have plans to confuse and disorient them … [parents] have been tasked by God to shepherd their little souls,” Cameron said in a speech at the reading. “You doing the right thing will inspire others to do the same.”
The event kicked off with interactive songs and readings for the children as eager families were eventually turned away at the door once the library reached capacity. Then, the special guests were met with a roar of applause.
Cameron has published two books with the faith-based publishing company: “Pride Comes Before the Fall” and “As We Grow.”
He read the latter on Saturday, teaching children about growing in wisdom, as Riley Gaines read “Unmuzzle Me, Please!” by DC Draino, which demonstrates the importance of freedom of speech.
Texas State Rep. Caroline Harris (R–Round Rock) also attended the reading, where she told Texas Scorecard, “[BRAVE Books storybook hour] reminds parents how important it is to invest in their kids. … It is so important for people like Cameron and others to continue to write books that easily teach these important lessons to our kids.”
Marica Watson, executive director of Citizens Defending Freedom of Williamson County, spearheaded organizing the BRAVE Books readings in Williamson County.
She told Texas Scorecard that CDF Wilco organized BRAVE Books readings at libraries across the county and only ran into trouble with one library in Liberty Hill that “would not allow it not even in the parking lot.”
Nevertheless, CDF Wilco managed to organize nine readings and was thrilled with the public turnout.
Dozens of parents and kids showed up for the BRAVE Books reading Saturday morning at the Hutto Public Library––also put on by CDF Wilco––while LGBT “allies” gathered at the door in N-95 masks and rainbow-themed clothing.
Children crowded into the small library conference room to listen to “As You Grow,” a tale of life as the Sky Tree grows from a seed through trials and triumphs, learning about joy, gentleness, and wisdom along the way.
Parents stood outside the room looking in, with smiles on their faces as they discussed amongst themselves the need for events like these.
One family wore T-shirts proclaiming “Jesus is Always Faithful,” and while the older children sat and listened, the toddler wandered through the crowd, waving and smiling as their infectious joy permeated the group.
In North Texas, the BRAVE Books reading at the Arlington Public Library began with everyone––parents and children––standing up, placing their hand over their heart, and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The children then sang along to “God Bless America” before the reading began.
After everyone sat back down, Cooper Bell, head of sales for BRAVE Books, gave a brief synopsis of what BRAVE Books is and what they stand for. Bell said he hopes “See You at the Library” will be implemented on the calendar every year.
“We picked the first Saturday of the month of August, and we’re trying right now to have this as a national holiday,” explained Cooper. “Next year, we’re hoping that on the calendars there will be a ‘See You at the Library,’ and this can be a return date.”
Rynthia Clements, a local English teacher and leader of Excel Learning Academy, gathered the children to the front of the room to sit and listen as she read “As You Grow” by Kirk Cameron. The kids eagerly ran up, with some dragging their parents along as the story began.
After Clements finished reading the book, she gave each child an acorn that they can plant at home to symbolize growth.
She explained that the event is vital to preserving conservative Christian values in a world that seeks to diminish them.
“’See You at the Library’ was a tremendous event that brought together conservative Christian families who value books on faith and freedom. In a world that minimizes Christian values and patriotism as oppressive and narrow-minded, families must teach their children to uphold Christian principles, boldly speaking the truth of God’s word,” said Clements. “‘See You at the Library,’ BRAVE Books, and Kirk Cameron provided a way for parents to live their faith, encouraging their children to do the same.”
Political commentator David Harris Jr. made a special appearance at Arlington, where he read his book “A Town Worth Defending,” which tells the story of a city of animals fighting against a posse of possums who are trying to take away the citizens’ freedom.
The sponsor of the event, Natalie Brophey, told Texas Scorecard that this was something she could do in her local community to promote family values.
“When I saw Kirk Cameron’s post on Facebook calling on brave Americans to host a ‘See You at the Library,’ I realized this was something my friends and family could do at our local library,” said Brophey. “My husband, Tom, and I saw this as an opportunity to bring a wholesome event to our community promoting books on virtue and patriotism. We raised our children going to the local library and have been saddened to see how libraries across the nation have been used to promote confusion and lies to children.”
Brophey said the library didn’t even try to refuse them a room but did say that they couldn’t advertise the event with any language suggesting that the library or the City of Arlington sponsored the event.
Dozens of kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles attended the “See You at the Library” event at the Carrollton Public Library on Saturday. Host Steve Brown estimated more than 200 community members participated in the day’s activities.
The event kicked off with prayer, pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags, and kids leading the National Anthem.
Carrollton’s Fire Chief Michael Thomson and Assistant Police Chief Paul Fritz read popular family-friendly children’s books “Walter the Farting Dog” and “As You Grow.”
Volunteers with local Moms for Liberty chapters, Citizens Defending Freedom, and other groups also organized art projects, games, and snacks.
In between, children led sing-alongs of “God Bless America” and “Jesus Loves Me.”
To top it off, the kids got to tour a fire engine and meet K-9 officers.
Many families said they look forward to similar library events in the future.
“It’s as simple as making sure kids know the difference between right and wrong,” Brown said.