FIRST ON FOX: Actor, producer and writer Kirk Cameron has been hosting story hour book events for families and children at public libraries across the country for a number of months, despite pushback and criticism along the way — but on Friday evening, he told Fox News Digital that his latest public library event in Scottsdale, Arizona, was by far “the most faith-filled, family-friendly and patriotic event so far.”
Cameron spoke and read to the 600-plus people gathered at the Civic Center Library in Scottsdale along with Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb of Arizona, said publisher Brave Books.
Lamb just this week announced a Senate run, becoming the first major Republican candidate to challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., who last December left the Democratic Party to become an independent. Lamb is the top law enforcement officer in Arizona’s third-biggest county.
Cameron has been inviting a variety of people to join him on his “Freedom Island” book tour.
“A high school choir and over 600 parents and children stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, sing ‘God Bless America,’ and celebrate life, liberty and Sheriff Lamb,” Cameron told Fox News Digital by email.
He also said, “We talked openly about proven solutions to our country’s problems (including the border crisis), returning to good and godly values, and the importance of searching for the truth.”
Sheriff Mark Lamb, at left, along with actor-writer Kirk Cameron, at the “Freedom Island” book event in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday, April 14. “There was an energy in the air that we hadn’t felt before at any other story hour,” said a Brave Books spokesperson. Lamb has announced a Senate run. (Debby Wolvos)
He added, “Next stop, Philly!”
(Cameron is scheduled to appear in Cherry Hill, New Jersey — close to the Pennsylvania border — on April 29 at the Cherry Hill Library.)
A Brave Books spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the turnout on Friday “was incredible. There was an energy in the air that we hadn’t felt before at any other story hour.”
The library confirmed the event in a phone call with Fox News Digital earlier.
“Families were given a glimmer of hope — hope that they are not the minority but the majority, and we can’t give up.”
Said Cameron, “It felt like Arizona’s citizens needed hope and encouragement — and on Friday, we were able to provide that.”
He said, “Families in America are watching companies fall to the ‘woke virus’ over and over again. Movies and TV shows are becoming unwatchable for families.”
He also said that certain products offered for sale today “are unbuyable for families that want to support traditional values — the values that made this country the greatest country on earth.”
Kirk Cameron addresses a room full of children and families in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday, April 14, at the public library there. Shown on the screen, an illustration from Cameron’s book, “As You Grow.” (Debby Wolvos)
But on Friday, he said, “families were given a glimmer of hope — hope that they are not the minority but the majority, and we can’t give up.”
Added Cameron, “Today was a steroid shot to the arm to keep going. God will win in the end, and we just have to trust him.”
“God will win in the end, and we just have to trust him.”
Also appearing at the event on Friday was Sara Carter, whose new children’s book, “Joining the Amazing Club Awesome Sauce,” teaches the importance of rules and abiding by them so that children stay safe.
Cameron’s children’s book “As You Grow,” published earlier this year by Brave Books, allows young readers to follow the journey of a tree as it sprouts from “a small acorn [into] a mighty tree that provides shade, sustenance and lodging.”
The book also shares biblical wisdom. It contains activities at the back for families and children.
Children in attendance at Kirk Cameron’s book reading in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday, April 14. The public library event in Arizona was by far “the most faith-filled, family-friendly and patriotic event so far,” said Cameron in comments to Fox News Digital about the public library events he’s been holding for many months. (Debby Wolvos)
Sheriff Lamb’s book, also published by Brave Books, teaches critical thinking skills, something he told Fox News Digital in an earlier interview he believes is urgently needed today.
The illustrated children’s book, out in January 2023, is called “The Adventures of Seymour Clues and Mr. Mouse: The Case of the Mysterious Sea Monster.”
The plot involves “some local corruption,” he said, as a “mayor tries to instill fear into people. It isn’t until [the characters in the book] do some critical thinking and ask some key questions that they’re able to discover that things aren’t what they were made out to be.”
Kirk Cameron speaks to families and children on Friday, April 14, at the Scottsdale Public Library in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Debby Wolvos)
In addition to the Cherry Hill scheduled event, Cameron also has other story time hours planned for San Francisco, Charlotte and Seattle.
Sheriff Lamb told Fox News Digital in comments on Saturday about the Friday event, “As a sheriff, I’ve spent my life protecting people and keeping citizens safe. There’s no greater call than to protect the hearts and minds of our little children.”
“The children sitting at the front of the story hour were full of love, joy and knowledge. They will be the future of this country.”
He said that on Friday, at the library event, “I had the opportunity to do that. Scottsdale welcomed us with open arms. It was the kind of patriotic, uplifting support that we don’t see much anymore and I was blessed to be part of it.”
Lamb added, “The children sitting at the front of the story hour were full of love, joy and knowledge. They will be the future of this country. That is a weighty thing when you think about it.”
He said “We must protect them, love them, pour into them! The future of our great country depends on it.”
Children at Kirk Cameron’s library event in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday, April 14. “I was blessed to be part of it,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb of Arizona. (Debby Wolvos)
Cameron and Brave Books have been holding these events as a faith-friendly and family-friendly alternative to the many “drag queen story hours” that have been held at public libraries across America for the past few years.
Los Angeles-based Cameron, an outspoken Christian, said that at a previous event of his — held in Arkansas in mid-March — a small group of protesters dressed in drag interrupted the book event.
He described “grown men wearing silly makeup, dressed in skirts and heels, pretending to be women,” as they “listened to the reading of a kids’ book about God’s view of gender called ‘Elephants Are Not Birds.'”
The drag queens blocked the views of some families and children and distracted others from the book reading and remarks from the stage, said Brave Books.
Chris Pandolfo of Fox News Digital contributed reporting.