As a middle school teacher, I am interested in my students. Our school has devoted the first 15 minutes of the day to reading in an effort to get more students devoted to reading. I often ask the students what they are reading to see what interests them. A couple years ago, I decided to read what some of them seemed to like reading. I’ve read many different books such as all of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Divergent series. Recently, many of the students were telling me they were reading “Michael Vey”. Since it seemed to be popular, I decided to read it. It actually “Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25”. As I was nearing the end of the book, I discovered something that shocked me. There is a connection between Michael Vey and Glenn Beck.
I went online shortly before I finished the book to see if it had been made into a video. It seemed like the logical progression for the book. Many times, I have read a book and then watched the movie. It was natural for me to investigate this. Imagine my surprise when I discovered one, that Glenn Beck has a publishing company and two, that his company, Mercury Ink, published Michael Vey. Mercury Ink’s partner is Simon and Schuster.
The Michael Vey series is about good, evil, and making right choices. I actually enjoyed reading the book and could see why students like it. I am not going to say much about the book, as I don’t want to spoil anything for someone that might like to read it. I will say it is about teenagers that have a special connection with electricity. Something happened to them when they were born and now as they are coming into their teen years they have unusual abilities. Michal Vey seems to have the most powerful ability. The book takes the reader on an adventure from combating bullying to building friendships and developing an understanding of what makes people good and bad. The underlying theme is good triumphs over evil and that sometimes-good people do bad things to help. There is much more to it than the simplistic ideas I am mentioning here. However, listening to Glenn Beck tell the story should create caution in all of us.
Is there an underlying agenda from the far right to infiltrate the minds of our youth? Glenn is trying to find ways to reach the youth and he thinks these books might do it. I know many students like the Michael Vey series. Whether these books will have any dramatic impact on their worldview remains to be seen. My concern is the effort that has been put into public education by the far right in the last many years. It seems to me that there is a far-reaching goal to control public education and perhaps this is just one more puzzle piece that is being put in place for the greater good of the right’s influence on education.
I always say, “I learn something new every day.” Today I learned about Glenn Beck’s goals. I never would have connected him to the Michael Vey series unless I researched it. I am sharing this because I think we all need to keep one eye open for understanding the manipulations that the media does to our children and to ourselves. As an educator, I would be remiss if I didn’t investigate and share these things when I learn about them. It certainly has made me wonder what else have I been reading that has an interesting back-story.