March 2019 – Freelance journalist Whitney White regularly contributes poignant features and blogs to afa.net/the-stand emphasizing her love for family and American history. Her husband Matthew recently joined AFA Journal as a staff writer. Matthew also pastors a church in Webster County, Mississippi.
Once a public school teacher, Whitney now homeschools their three older boys – Aaron, Aaden, and Aacen. In September, the Whites welcomed Asher, their fourth son and future student, to their homeschool academy.
Amazingly, Whitney also found time this year to author a children’s book, The Mystery of Granddaddy Meek, the first of American Family Association’s new Covenant Creek Kids series. Despite the hectic demands of parenting, teaching, and writing, Whitney sat down with AFAJ to explain why she is excited about her new book, released by AFA this spring.
AFA Journal: Give us the basic storyline of The Mystery of Granddaddy Meek.
Whitney White: The book is set in fictional Covenant Creek, but I wrote the book with my grandparents’ tiny community of Chester, Mississippi, in mind. Holding my most treasured memories, Chester was a simple place with no cell phone service or stores. Yet, the most profound and influential people in my life lived in that peaceful, Bible-believing area.
My characters, Brennan and Addison, are reminiscent of my cousin Will and me as we stayed with our grandparents in Chester during summers and weekends. Similarly, Brennan and Addison’s parents work throughout the summer, so they must stay with their great-grandparents in Covenant Creek.
Anticipating a boring summer, the kids stumble upon a mysterious cedar chest. As they dig through its aged treasures, Granddaddy Meek suddenly enters the room. Their usually grumpy great-grandfather surprises them by patiently explaining how each of the treasured, historic items relates to his experiences as a young World War II soldier.
Forget a humdrum summer vacation; Granddaddy Meek brings history to life for two kids who previously had only studied history through the pages of
AFAJ: What motivates you to write for children about American history?
WW: Our American history is rich with stories of heroes who persevered through unbearable circumstances, people of faith who stood for what they believed in, men and women who sacrificed and paid the ultimate price for
As parents, we should be teaching that history within our homes. We cannot rely solely on churches to teach our children the Bible, nor should we expect the school to assume the sole responsibility of teaching our children about American heritage and the biblical principles upon which our country was founded.
The Bible says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” The home is God’s ordained institution, but if we aren’t teaching children of their American spiritual heritage, then who will?
My prayer is that parents and grandparents will read The Mystery of Granddaddy Meek to their children because the best educators in the world for a child are the parents and grandparents God gave them.
AFAJ: What are your favorite stories from American history?
WW: As a homeschool teacher, I love teaching and learning about America’s beginning. I am always amazed by the perseverance, courage, determination, and unwavering faith of the Pilgrims. They sacrificed everything in order to raise their children in a faith-based, God-fearing society. Through starvation, bitter cold, extreme sickness, and even death, they literally came to an unfamiliar, uninhabited country and built it from the ground up.
And one of my favorite historical figures, George Washington, was well respected and widely known for being “the tall man who’d get on his knees to pray.” He once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” The father of our country wasn’t just a good man, he was a
AFAJ: Who most impacted your own personal history?
WW: My grandparents made a huge impact on my life, my grandmother in particular. Mama Bobbie was my very best friend and my greatest fan. I loved spending every moment I could with her as a child. Spending time in her home was much like the fictional Covenant Creek home of Mama D and Granddaddy Meek.
Mama Bobbie began each morning with prayer and a devotion from her Daily Bread book. She cooked three full meals a day but was never too busy for us. She was a dedicated church member and took care of everyone in her community. Though sweet spirited and soft-spoken, she was a mighty prayer warrior with a bold faith.
AFAJ: What is the main message of this book?
WW: First of all, I hope readers realize how different life would be if America had not been founded on godly principles by men of great character. And hopefully, The Mystery of Granddaddy Meek will teach children to treasure their elders, to recognize their past sacrifices, to listen to them while they can, and to cherish every moment with them.
But most of all, from creation to the present day, history has always been and will always be HIS story. In The Mystery of Granddaddy Meek, I hope to convey that our country is not great because our people are wiser than others or more superior. Our country is great because our government is rooted in the belief of Almighty God.
The Mystery of Granddaddy Meek
The Covenant Creek Kids: Book 1
by Whitney White is available at afastore.net